Homelessness is an issue that we see every day. You have no doubt heard this many times. The facts never change, it exists and we live with it. Those we see on streets are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more which are “hidden homeless” with no fixed residence. They stay with friends and family, or in hostels and such like.
In 2013 Shelter reported that millions of Britons are one payday away from potential homelessness. For these millions of people, one missed pay check starts a process which could quickly end in homelessness.
Yet many remain oblivious to the reality of homelessness. We look away and tell ourselves it’ll be fine. We don’t make contingencies for missing that one payday or losing our jobs.
The Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN) want to ensure everyone in the city of Glasgow has a safe home. They are a charity and social enterprise which research homelessness, provide evidence and offer solutions to poor housing and homelessness. They do this by connecting with people who have lived and worked with the issue, as well as those who study it and conduct research.
Douglas Gibson is the Business Development Manager at the GHN, and assists in operating All In, the GHN’s award-winning social enterprise which focuses on participation, co-production and assets-based development. They help their clients understand homelessness better, and with their training and consultancy, assist their clients in meeting their goals and actively engaging and involving people in their work.
Douglas and I had a lengthy chat, and this interview is a particularly condensed version of that conversation. His poise, intelligence and insight into social enterprise is remarkable. Homelessness has always been an issue that’s close to my heart, so it was pretty great to be able to share a conversation with someone who lives and breathes it on a daily basis.
I hope you enjoy the episode.