PERMISSION has been given for an empty Glasgow City Centre shop to be turned into a one-stop facility providing multi-agency help to vulnerable people.
A change-of-use application for ground-floor premises at an office building at 389 Argyle Street has been approved by planning officials. The site was most recently used as a bridalwear and kilt shop.
The ‘health, wellbeing and home hub’ will be operated by Simon Community Scotland, the lead partner representing the City Ambition Network which is made up of Glasgow Health and Social Care partnership, Glasgow City Mission, Turning Point Scotland and the Marie Trust.
Councillor Mhairi Hunter, chair of Glasgow City Joint Integration Board, said: “Partnership working is at the heart of this new project. We have listened to the views of people who have personally experienced homelessness and their comments, along with those of our Third Sector partners, have helped shape plans for this new facility.
“Many homeless people gravitate to the city centre and the hub will be somewhere safe and warm where they can get urgent assistance quickly, as well as being directed to other services which can help them with non-urgent health care, food, showers, clothing and accommodation.”
The one-stop facility will offer a range of advice and support services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Services provided will be aimed at helping vulnerable people improve their circumstances in relation to physical and mental health, income and debt, employability, housing, managing a tenancy, and education and training.
An NHS-operated clinic will provide treatment and prevention services. There will also be dental and oral health improvement sessions.
Legal and benefits advice will be available and there will be computer and internet access. Police Scotland will run a hate crime reporting centre. A veterinary clinic will also be run.
A document submitted with the application stated: “The proposed development will operate as both a drop-in facility and appointment-based service. In all circumstances there will be a reason and an outcome for attendance, which will be time-limited.
“It will not operate as a day centre, shelter or cafe. There is no intention to provide food, a needle exchange, food bank or overnight shelter. These services are provided elsewhere in other facilities operated by the applicant.
“The location of the property is considered appropriate for this type of use as it is in a highly-accessible location in Glasgow City Centre and in an area characterised by office use during daytime hours.
“It will add to the multi-functional role of the city centre and provide a facility which aims to tackle inequality and improve the quality of life for its users.”
Opening hours are expected to be Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday/Sunday, 10am to 6pm. There will be occasional invitation-only recreational, leisure or learning evening activity between 5 and 10pm.
Four permanent staff will manage the centre, supported by 12 volunteers on any given day.