Supporting Homeless Scots in London

Who We Are

Bordelrine Logo CAFHomeless Scots in London are vulnerable, isolated and far from home. Many Scots come to London and prosper. However, more than 12% of the UK homeless population in London is Scottish [CHAIN, 2015].

Borderline is the only organisation specifically helping homeless Scots in London and our vision is that every Scots in London will have a home and receive the support they need to lead a healthy, independent life.

Our charity objectives are to relieve persons resident or found within a 35 mile radius of Charing Cross, who are in conditions of need, hardship or distress.

To be eligible for relief applicants must be:

  • a person born in Scotland, or;
  • the child of a person born in Scotland, or;
  • the widow, widower or surviving member of a civil partnership or a person born in Scotland.

Our primary objectives are:

  • to reduce homelessness and prevent rough sleeping
  • to prevent homelessness wherever possible
  • to access a wide range of accommodation options for our clients
  • to ensure clients have access to appropriate specialist help.

Homeless Scots are, by definition, a disadvantaged group, but the problems they face go beyond having nowhere to sleep. These men and women, who end up on the streets, have moved to London for various reasons. Some have come to find work but are unable to find a job before their money runs out, or lose their job and ultimately their home. Many have come to London of a breakdown in their relationship, family disputes, escaping violence and abuse. Many have drug and alcohol misuse issues as well as significant mental health problems.

Far too often the difficulties they face in London are much greater than those they leave behind. Having nowhere to live, encountering repeated failure then trying to find work, and being stigmatised be the general population can swiftly force people into devaluing themselves.

Our research in 2013 showed that homeless Scots were considered to be the most entrenched rough sleepers in London. The latest statistics confirm that 37% of Scottish clients have been rough sleeping across a minimum of two consecutive years. The figure for UK clients as a whole is 26% [CHAIN, 2015].

Most single homeless people do not fall within the UK Government’s ‘in priority need’ criteria for statutory housing assistance. London’s homelessness strategy aims to reduce the number of people who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, by providing journeys to settled futures that break recurrent patterns of rough sleeping. Borderline intends to be a key contributor for Scots in London.

Borderline has access to a London-wide Street Outreach Team database – CHAIN. This allows us to track the numbers of street homeless Scots across London, and provides access to the type of interventions carried out. As a result, we monitor the progress of individual clients.