Loneliness, poor mental health, employment issues, family breakdown and problems with drugs and alcohol are just a few of the reasons that people become homeless in Scotland. Our Homelessness Prevention teams exist to address these issues and help increase people’s resilience to the causes of homelessness before it occurs.
Access through Advocacy
Access through Advocacy is a service in Glasgow that supports people to promote and protect their rights, empowering them to have confidence moving forward.
At Access through Advocacy, we’re passionate about enabling people to have their voice heard on the matters that are important to them. We can offer help with:
> Benefits including applications and challenging decisions
> Resolution of housing issues
> Help dealing with bills and understanding banking
> Accessing both physical and mental health services
> Signposting to more specialist services as required
Bridge to Freedom
Bridge to Freedom is a Christian recovery programme delivered in the community which includes both group and one-to-one sessions.
Our Recovery & Resettlement Workers are seeing lives transformed and people set free from their addictions in our communities.The Bridge to Freedom recovery programme is being delivered in several locations in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness with the support of local church volunteers. The programme’s 45 sessions are complemented by one-to-ones with staff and volunteers.
Who can join?
Anyone who has a willingness to get well and break free from substances.
Community Support and Development East
Community Support and Development East is a service working to support local people and revitalise communities where the potential for homelessness is a real concern.
With regional teams based in the East of Scotland, projects are tailored to local needs and work in partnership with churches to empower people to strengthen their communities. Everyone has potential and our Community Support & Development Workers run a range of activities in Edinburgh, Dundee, Leith, Moredun, the Calders and Gorebridge to help people learn new skills and access further support and signposting. These activities include computer groups, lunch drop-ins and family support. The team also facilitate the Passing the Baton befriending service across Edinburgh and the Bridge to Freedom recovery course at a number of locations.
Who can join?
These projects take place in local communities in the East of Scotland, for more details see specific projects here.
Community Support and Development North
Community Support and Development North is a service working to support local people and revitalise communities where the potential for homelessness is a real concern.Play Video
Watch John's Story
The North of Scotland team have projects tailored to local needs in Aberdeen and Inverness. By working in partnership with churches, communities are being strengthened and people provided with opportunities to thrive.
The primary focus of our Aberdeen team is the community of Torry where there is a Women & Families Worker and a Community Recovery & Resettlement Worker delivering Bridge to Freedom. The Toastie Club is a drop-in on King Street that provides food, activities and a warm welcome.
In Inverness our Community Recovery & Resettlement Worker delivers Bridge to Freedom group work and one-to-ones with people wanting recovery from addiction.
Who can join?
These projects take place in local communities in Aberdeen, for more details see specific projects here.
Community Support and Development West
Community Support and Development West is a service working to support local people and revitalise communities where the potential for homelessness is a real concern.Play Video
With regional teams based in the West of Scotland, projects are tailored to local needs and work in partnership with churches to empower people to strengthen their communities. Our staff and volunteers work to discover, connect and mobilise individuals to see lasting change for individuals, families and communities. We offer addiction recovery support through Bridge to Freedom, volunteer work placements with training/qualifications, self-reliant groups, supported tenancies within community and individual one-to-one support. Our work is person-centred, focusing on the existing skills and passions of each individual to build confidence and help them realise their value.
Who can join?
These projects take place in local communities in Glasgow, for more details see specific projects here.
Creative Expressions gives people the opportunity to express themselves through the creative arts in communities across Scotland.Play Video
Menzieshill Art Project
At Bethany we know how important the creative arts are to people and the benefits of these in sharing experiences, reflecting on life and increasing self-esteem. Creative Expressions exists to work in communities across Scotland with all demographics and through a variety of creative media. Since its founding, the service has worked in communities such as Menzieshill, Dundee, as well as supporting prison chaplaincies with music, drama and storytelling projects.
Ongoing projects in Edinburgh include our weekly creative writing group that produces The Bugle magazine. Through this contributors gain skills whilst expressing themselves creatively through art, storytelling, journalism and poetry.
Who can apply?
Many of these projects are short term and based in local communities, while others operate within Scotland’s prisons.
Connect to Community
Connect to Community seeks to support men and women leaving prison to achieve their goals and to build a positive pathway after prison.Play Video
Connect to Community
The service supports people with experience of the criminal justice system by providing a mentor that connects and integrates them to live transformed lives in the community.
All Connect to Community mentors are part of a local church. They each offer to walk voluntarily with people on release to address the crucial issues of accommodation, addiction, work or training that may face people after leaving prison. Mentors are trained and committed to supporting people for up to 12 months.
Who can apply?
Anyone with experience of the criminal justice system.
Inspiring Leith run a variety of activities for local people to strengthen community relationships.
It has been running since 2012 harnessing the strengths, skills and resources of local people in Leith. We have provided support to set up a range of activities where folks can get to know each other and have fun. These activities have a huge impact on strengthening community and bringing about positive change in people’s lives. They include things like craft and upcycling groups, gardening projects and open-mic nights.
Using an asset-based approach to community development, people have opportunities to meet, form positive relationships, and organise themselves to deliver activities for their own benefit and that of the wider community. We are able to provide support to get things started in terms of funding and practical support.
Passing the Baton
Passing the Baton is Bethany’s befriending service in Edinburgh for those who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.Play Video
Passing the baton
We support those who are on the margins of society and socially isolated, helping to connect people with their local community. Befriending has a huge positive impact on people’s well-being and how well individuals move on from temporary accommodation, as well as settling in to their own tenancy. Bethany volunteers are uniquely positioned to help prevent the revolving door of homelessness by supporting and encouraging people to engage in their local area, making connections to activities, organisations and key people in their community.
Each of our Passing the Baton befrienders aim to be in touch with their befriendee around 1.5 – 2 hours every week or fortnight, over a period of 2-12 months. Complementing support offered by other providers around Edinburgh, the aim of the befriender is to build a relationship and connection with their befriendee, such as meeting for a coffee, chatting on the phone or going for a walk. The befriender also helps connect their befriendee to at least two local community activities such as going to the gym, creative classes and support groups. Ongoing training and support is provided for all befrienders. Supported by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership.
Who can apply?
Anyone living in Edinburgh who has experienced homelessness or is at risk of homelessness.
UpStream is a counselling and therapeutic family support service, delivered within schools and community, to promote positive mental health and wellbeing to families and young people.
UpStream primarily offers therapeutic services to young people aged 10 – 21. The service offers professional assistance, guidance and support in resolving personal or psychological problems as well as general mental wellbeing concerns.
Counselling provides a confidential and non-judgmental space where a counsellor will help a young person to explore and process their feelings, worries or problems. It provides an opportunity to talk about everything and anything that is important to the young person. The counsellor is not there to offer advice, or to make judgements but rather to listen to each individual, in order to help them better understand their feelings, thoughts and circumstances.
Therapeutic Support is a safe and relaxed time for a young person to talk to someone who will listen supportively to everything they have to say. Support is delivered primarily in a 1-2-1 format by trained counsellors and therapeutic workers.
Once a referral to the service is made, the UpStream worker meets with the young person and together they will begin to co-produce the support that is required. Together they will assess what support is most necessary and relevant for them. Assessment will be completed on an individual basis with the needs and desires of the young person at the centre.
Who can apply?
Young people can be referred to UpStream through their school’s Pastoral Care department, the school’s Joint Support Team, a local agency or a self-referral.