In the three weeks from 8th to 26th January 2024, Govan Law Centre (GLC) has secured emergency homeless accommodation for 76 people who had been sleeping rough on Glasgow’s streets. Accommodation secured is generally hotel, B&B or hostel accommodation.
In that period, around 57 case referrals came via Homeless Project Scotland’s Winter Night Shelter (WNS) on Glassford Street, 8 from Shelter Scotland, 1 from the Scottish Refugee Council, together with 10 clients who had been rough sleeping approach GLC directly for legal advice and representation.
This equates to around 5 new rough sleeping clients per day; in addition we are also continuing to assist a significant number of homeless clients with unsuitable accommodation challenges.
We have assisted around 200 clients with emergency homeless needs in the last two months and the demand for urgent advice and legal representation continues to grow. We have three caseworkers and eights solicitors working on homeless cases, including our Head of Prevention of Homelessness Services, Lorna Walker, senior solicitor.
Many of our cases require the drafting of petitions for judicial review in Scotland’s supreme civil court, the Court of Session in Edinburgh. In the last six weeks, our solicitor advocate has drafted around 50 petitions for judicial review to be lodged at Court with interim orders to be sought, however, such cases generally settle at the last minute in our clients’ favour.
All of these cases require a significant amount of emergency legal work including taking detailed instructions, statements, ingathering relevant documents and evidence, corresponding with local authorities, instructing where required interpreters, applying for urgent civil legal aid where emergency court proceedings are required to protect clients from rough sleeping and our in-house solicitor advocate drafting urgent legal proceedings and working with our Edinburgh agents, Drummond Miller LLP.
We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of all of our staff and our Edinburgh agents, Drummond Miller LLP who have made this vital work possible; and have been happy to work with a number of referral partners including, Homeless Project Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council, Simon Community, the Glasgow City Mission and others.