Glasgow City Council to provide supermarket vouchers and “intensive” support packages for homeless families

Supermarket vouchers and “intensive” support packages for homeless families are set to be provided by Glasgow City Council under a new fund.
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When the city’s SNP and Green groups agreed a deal to pass a budget for 2024/25 last month, they allocated £1.2m towards ‘tackling poverty’.

Now, councillors are being asked to decide how the funding should be shared, with seven recommendations outlined in a new report.

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The report, which will go to the city administration on Thursday, states: “Alongside reducing levels of public resources, the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis continues to drive significant demand on services. 

“This council recognises that the impact of these challenges is felt particularly keenly by those already living in low-income households who experience the deepening of existing inequalities.”

The new fund will pilot a “cash-first approach to support people facing food insecurity, in turn, reducing the need for foodbanks”, officials added.

It is recommended £200,000 is used on “intensive” packages of support for “families in deep poverty within homeless accommodation”. It would include financial inclusion support as well as essentials for taking on a new tenancy.

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Supermarket vouchers were provided during the covid pandemic, and officials believe £65,000 should be spent on extending the scheme, benefiting people leaving homeless accommodation. The vouchers would “assist with the purchase of basic items to facilitate sustaining their new tenancy”.

Councillors will also be asked to put £300,000 towards the Scottish Welfare Fund, which can provide crisis grants, to help people with unexpected emergencies, or community care grants.

The report states, during the cost of living crisis, demand “for the fund continues to significantly exceed supply”.

Another recommendation could see £500,000 awarded to the city’s health and social care partnership to “support cash-first initiatives”, while £50,000 could be spent on a pre-loved clothing initiative. That proposal would provide funding for “a subsidised scheme for children’s clothing”.

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Support for families with a disabled child/children is also planned, with £75,000 set to be awarded to third sector organisations. 

An in-work poverty fund could be created, using £10,000. It would cover areas such as transport, childcare and supermarket vouchers.

The proposals are still being developed, with “lead organisations” to take forward the initiatives yet to be identified.

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