New Resource Launched for Homeless Jobseekers in Glasgow
9 March 2017
Glasgow City Council's Poverty Leadership Panel
(PLP) has launched a pocket sized information card to help homeless
The homelessness easement card, as it's become known, is aimed
at unemployed homeless individuals who could be missing out on
welfare payments or being unfairly categorised for benefits or Job
Seekers Allowance (JSA) because they have wrongly or mistakenly
stating their housing situation.
The card was created to overcome the challenge of welfare
benefit claimants mistakenly failing to tell work coaches during
meetings that they are homeless and falling into the Universal
Credit process in error that can lead to sanctions and take a
period of time to rectify.
It aims to explain being homeless can mean many things, not just
rough sleeping, and it is important to tell Job centre staff if you
are in this situation.
The simple pocket sized card was designed with the help of
council, Department for Work and Pensions staff
and homeless clients themselves, some of whom did not categorise
themselves as homeless because they were living in a homeless unit,
bed and breakfast or sofa surfing.
Importantly they may also be missing out on the possibly of
having an easement applied to their claim - a discretionary power
Job Centre staff can use to change what is expected of new JSA
claimants who are homeless and sleeping rough or in certain some
kinds of supported accommodation.
Staff and work coaches have been trained to recognise the cards
and provide support and apply homeless easement which puts the
focus on finding accommodation before and accessing other
The cards also carry a message on Glasgow's libraries with free
access to books, computer classes and electoral registration as
homeless individuals living in temporary accommodation can still
register to vote.
The PLP was established in May 2013 following a series of
meetings to discuss poverty with some of the key representatives of
Glasgow, which included citizens with lived experience of poverty,
the Third Sector Forum, Glasgow City Council and housing
associations among others.
The Panel has also launched online resource to support those in
low paid jobs and low income families who, despite being in
employment, still suffer financial hardship.
In Work Support (IWS) provides a range of
information, in one single place, to help those on low incomes and
with families to support to find out about further financial
assistance and benefits available to them.
Both resources have been developed by members of the PLP,
including Community Activist Panel members and Glasgow City
Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Money Advice Service and
further education colleges.
Glasgow City Mission and their service users were also
instrumental in helping to support the design and distribution of
the homelessness cards.
Councillor Frank McAveety, co-chair of the Poverty Leadership
Panel, said: "In creating this bank of In Work Support information,
in a single place, we want people to know that help doesn't just
stop when you find a job.
"Gaining employment is a positive move and there is additional
assistance out there to make being in employment worthwhile, not
just financially but in terms of improving wellbeing and
participating in society.
"However, for some, the priority should first and foremost about
finding somewhere to stay before taking on the challenge of finding
employment. Hopefully this card will help overcome some of the
challenges that many homeless people face in claiming welfare
payments and finding work."
Source: Scottish Housing News