Provision for the single homeless in Glasgow

Black, John Moreland (1982) Provision for the single homeless in Glasgow. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The single homeless have been and still are one of the most caricatured and neglected groups in our society. Traditionally they have been viewed as 'deviants' who suffer from some particular pathological problem. From such a basis this thesis examines the single homeless issue from three main perspectives - service, client, and societal. The primary perspective adopted in this thesis is a service one whereby eleven statutory and voluntary organisations involved in the single homeless field in Glasgow are examined in detail in chaptors five and six. Of these organisations seven are actively involved in trying to rehabilitate the single homeless (i.e. 'return' them to some form of independence). On the statutory side the housing, social work, and social security departments primarily adopt a combined socio-medical approach whereby selected lodging house, hostel, and resettlement unit residents are trained in basic housework skills to enable them to take advantage of the current Glasgow District policy in this field. The aforementioned policy has made the single homeless a priority category which means that they will be found suitable ordinary housing as soon as is practicable without having to go on a waiting list. The success of this policy has been in stark contrast with previous rehabilitation programmes embodied in the voluntary approaches outlined in chapter six. The reason for this success is that such a policy views the problem as primarily a housing one whereas previous approaches have identified the single homeless as the problem and hence have treated particular problems experienced by the single homeless, such as mental illness and alcoholism. This finding is confirmed when the views of the single homeless themselves are examined. Chapter seven highlights the essence of the single homeless problem in Glasgow as being their dependence on the large hostel-type of accommodation provision even though the vast majority of the single homeless do not want to live in such accommodation. In addition, life, in such large lodging houses and hostels has tended to intensify those problems, other than homelessness, experienced by the single homeless. Thus, on the one hand, the traditional service response has tended to treat the results of single homelessness, and, on the other, the building of large hostels has become part of the problem. Finally the attempt is made to place the single homeless issue within a wider social and political perspective. In the main what is emphasised is that there has been very little pressure for policy change in this area and this can be attributed to three factors - the inability of the single homeless to organise themselves; the reluctance, until recently, of the voluntary services to campaign on behalf of the single homeless; and the general public hostility felt towards the single homeless. In addition the hostel issue is linked with general housing policies and the shortage of suitable single person accommodation is cited as being likely to restrict the speed at which existing large lodging houses and hostels can be closed in spite of the evidence indicating their unsuitability.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: David Donnison
Keywords: Public policy
Date of Award: 1982
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1982-72808
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72808

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