Homelessness workers to get lawyer-led training from Shelter Scotland

Homelessness workers to get lawyer-led training from Shelter Scotland

Alison Watson

Shelter Scotland has announced a new two-year project to empower organisations working on the frontline with people experiencing homelessness.

Thanks to funding from the Legal Education Foundation, Shelter Scotland’s specialist team will provide training and support, with a strong emphasis on ensuring the rights of people experiencing homelessness are respected.

The project, which launches publicly on 28 April, will deliver a series of lawyer-led workshops, online learning and resources. It will also be convening a practitioner forum, creating a space for partner organisations across Scotland to come together and share knowledge and experience of the issues affecting people in their areas with a view to learning from each other and developing best practice.

A number of organisations that deal with Scotland’s homelessness crisis every day have already signed up, including Simon Community, The Rock Trust and Cyrenians.

Alison Watson, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “While Scotland has some of the best legal protections for people experiencing homelessness in the world, the reality is that all too often we have to step in to ensure those rights are respected. Recently we have seen remarkable improvement, particularly on rough sleeping and we want to ensure the progress made during the pandemic is sustained.

“To do this, we need to better equip people working at the front line with those most in need to understand their legal rights and application of homelessness law. With better knowledge and confidence to navigate the homeless legal system, frontline staff can be empowered to support their clients to achieve significantly better outcomes.” 

Ms Watson added: “A forum will bring together representatives from organisations throughout Scotland to share their experience, develop best practice and hopefully learn a thing or two about strategic litigation. We will also be producing a range of written materials and other toolkits.”

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