A night of homelessness sheds light on social deprivation

by Steve White, CEO of Balhousie Care Group

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Give generously and back us to end the curse of homelessness – forever and ever.

We at Balhousie Care Group, along with other ambitious organisations, are keen to eradicate some of Scotland’s most pressing social problems.  Not tomorrow or the day after. But, today.

This urgency is not just because of the human suffering experienced daily by people. It is also because it makes no economic sense to allow issues like Homelessness and Social Isolation to continue. Someone disengaged can’t do what they most want – to contribute to their country, its wellbeing and its economy. They are not there because of choice and those of us who have experienced what can become of us when life spirals out of control know that it's difficult to get back on your feet. A lost job, a broken relationship, abuse at home or missed rent payments. These are common triggers and any one of us could find ourselves out in the cold.

Scotland has new fire in its belly

There is a definite change in the air in Scotland. While we used to talk of dealing with problems, we now speak of ending them forever. There is, for example, a determination to end homelessness within five years.

Balhousie Care join Sleep in the Park 2017

Together we can.  And, Balhousie Care Group will make a very public and visible stand when Tony Banks and I will be joined by 20 inspiring and caring people from across our Care Homes to spend the night of 9 December sleeping out in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens. Next year we hope to see many more from our homes taking part. Yes, it will likely be cold, but, because we will be in the company of more than 9,000 business leaders, celebrities and concerned and determined people from all backgrounds within our communities, we will never experience the very real hardship and lack of hope experienced by the 28,250 people assessed as homeless in Scotland.

We have 11,000 people sleeping on Scotland’s streets or in often totally unsuitable temporary accomodation. That includes over 6,000 children whose lives are likely to be forever tainted by the experience. Worse still, these figures are set to soar in Scotland by more than 50% by 2025. Unless, people like us stand (or in this case lie down) and say


Balhousie Care Group is already extending its ambitions beyond our core business and we anticipate a threefold growth in the years to come. We want to lead on many of these issues and with our people, our local communities and the Scottish nation – we can make things happen. We’ve already stretched the hand of friendship out into our local communities and to those living isolated lives – tell us, join us for dinner, make new friends. With 25 Care Homes across Scotland, and growing, we can use our position to make a difference. We have to realise our power to make the world a better place. Next year I expect to see many more people joining us to represent Balhousie Care Group at this event.

Meanwhile, where can we start? How about businesses throughout Scotland pledging job opportunities for homeless people. The target set for this event is for 1,000 job offers.

We also want to see at least 1,000 households open their doors and offer up a spare room for a short period of time to help people find their feet with a "supported lodgings" programme.

Let’s make Scotland an example for the whole world to follow. We may be a small country. But, we are a nation of innovators. It’s in our blood.  If there is anything you can offer. Speak to me please.

To support our mission, please give generously. Go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/balhousie-care-group