Protest and vigil held in Glasgow after homeless man dies in city centre


Protest organisers demand that Glasgow’s many vacant buildings be used to house homeless at dire risk over the winter months

A DEMONSTRATION and vigil will be held tonight in Glasgow over homeless accommodation, after alarm was raised by the death of a homeless man in the city yesterday.

The man, understood to be called Mathew, was found at 9:10am yesterday morning (22 March) in the city centre’s Trongate after a bitter overnight cold snap which saw snow and freezing temperatures.

His death was deemed “unexplained” by officers at the scene

One of the protest organisers, Sean Bailey, who has been active in recent months on the issue of homeless accommodation in the city, told CommonSpace that things could be done to protect the homeless in Glasgow

“Glasgow city council having been slashing front line homelessness services for years whilst ignoring the increasing demand for services and the demand that empty shops should be opened to shelter rough sleepers in the city.

“Various groups and campaigns pushed the council to open up more services and the empty shops before Christmas we seen a tragedy coming, it’s heart-breaking that it has come to this.

“They like to remind us that People Make Glasgow, if they won’t act like it we will. Along with the people of Glasgow we will make sure no-one dies on the streets of our city again.”

No More Homeless Deaths – Emergency Demo and Memorial

Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for GCC said: “This was a tragic death and a police investigation is currently on-going.

“The cause of death has still to be determined and it would be inappropriate to comment on this until the facts have been established.

“Our street team works in the city centre every day to engage directly with people affected by homelessness and to direct them to them to available support.

“The reasons for homelessness can be complex and moving on from a chaotic lifestyle can be very difficult.”

GCC also asserts that the number of annual applications for homeless application in Glasgow to 6,000 per year.

However in the winter of 2016 emergency homeless shelters recorded a sharp rise in the number of applications for beds in Scotland.

Responding to the death, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A man was found dead outside the shop around 9.10am.

“The death is being treated as unexplained but it is not thought to be suspicious.”

Picture courtesy of Robert Clark

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