Glasgow Soup Kitchen 2021: This is a failure of both Scottish and UK governments

671
Kindness Homeless Street Team say more than 200 people queued up in sub-zero temperatures on Monday. Credit: Kindness Homeless Street Team

A shocking photo showing more than 200 people queuing in the snow for food at a soup kitchen just yards from Glasgow’s city chambers has been blasted as “an indictment of national failure”.

The image of queues for Kindness Homeless Street Team’s soup kitchen in Glasgow’s George Square has been shared thousands of times on social media after the community group revealed 220 people braved snow and sub-zero temperatures for help on Monday.

Social media users branded the photo “shocking and humiliating” while some compared it to Soviet Union in the 1930s.

The picture, which was taken on Monday night as Glasgow was hit by heavy snow, was shared on Facebook by Graeme Weir, a volunteer with community group Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow who run the soup kitchen in the square four days a week.

He wrote: “This isn’t some Eastern European country that’s been decimated by years of communist rule. This is Glasgow city centre last night in the 21st century where people are waiting in line to be fed by Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow. This makes me so angry. This has to end.

“I know some personally and most of them are good people who have just hit a ‘wee bump in the road’. We as a civilised and caring nation need to step up. Even if all you can give is a little mutual respect, a smile and a hey hello the next time you see a homeless person, trust me it can be enough to turn there life around. Never has been being kind matter so much now.”

Kindness Homeless Street Team say Monday night was “particularly busy” with between 200 and 220 people queuing up – a marked increase from the 70 to 80 people they would provide food to at the start of the pandemic.

Andy Lockhard, the managing director of a finance company who volunteers for Kindness Homeless community group, said it was vital the community group “stepped up to the mantle”.

Food and hot drinks laid out by the Kindness Homeless Street Team in Glasgow. Credit: Kindness Homeless Street Team

“I think it’s pretty scandalous that we are living in a society where poverty is on our doorstep and people are having to traipse out into the city centre to receive support from a community group. 

“The problem is that if we don’t do it then who is going to? It’s about stepping up to the mantle and making sure that these people are supported and services are provided for them.”

Kindness Homeless Street Team has been running a soup kitchen operation throughout the pandemic, operating four nights a week even when temperatures hit -2°C as they did on Monday night.

A total of 25 volunteers worked to help the hundreds of people requiring help on Monday, serving up 100 sausage suppers donated from restaurants across the city.

Laura McSorley, from Summerston, Glasgow, set up the Kindness Homeless Street Team to help vulnerable people. (Image: Jamie Williamson)

Laura McSorley from Summerston, Glasgow, set up Kindness Homeless in October 2019 and last summer she received a Points of Light award from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who praised her for providing a “much-needed sense of comfort” during the pandemic.

But the group – who also kit out properties with furniture to help people move off the streets – has seen increasing demand from people needing food as Covid-19 continues to bring hardship.

Andy added: “This morning at 4:30am I was heading into Glasgow to provide hot drinks for two guys who are using scaffolding as shelter near George Square and it was -5.5°C this morning and those two guys are out 24/7. It’s just heart-breaking.”

The shocking photo of the queue has caused anger on social media where it has been shared thousands of times.

A Scottish Government spokesperson claimed they had spent £140 million targeting food insecurity during the pandemic, including £65m in Glasgow. But they also made calls for the Westminster Government to rethink welfare reforms driving food poverty.

Money could be best spent directly donating to groups like Kindness Homeless Street Team who seem to make a bigger impact in caring for people than governments do.

You can support Homeless Street team on their Facebook page Here or in other ways listed below.

Kindness Homeless Street Team have been asked around ways to donate to our community group. Please see below 💗💗

Amazon Wish List – https://www.amazon.co.uk/…/genericItem…/2FGDIMQHO6E9S…

Bank Transfer

Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow

Bank Of Scotland

Account – 19948660

Sort Code – 80-22-60

Paypal – https://www.paypal.me/KindnessHST

 

Support Labour Heartlands

This is a "Pay as You Feel" website. You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free. The choice is entirely yours.

PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE

HELP US GROW.