Campaigners have pledged they will continue to put pressure on Glasgow City Council after death of Matthew Bloomer in Glasgow
PETITIONERS have demanded that Glasgow City Council (GCC) “fulfil its duty” to provide accommodation to all homeless people after the death of Matthew Bloomer in Glasgow.
The 28 father of two, who had been homeless for four years after suffering mental illness and alcoholism, was found dead last week (Tuesday 22 March) in a shop doorway in Glasgow city centre.
Protestors gathered in Glasgow last week to highlight the plight of the city’s homeless at a time when there are many unused buildings and thousands of people sleeping rough. Organisers told CommonSpace they had appealed to the city council to open up abandoned buildings.
Now a petition, organised to keep the issue alive as activists consider a course of action to prevent future deaths, has been launched. It calls on the council to provide temporary shelter to all who apply for it.
One petition signatory, Arran C, writing about why he backed the demands, said: “That a man can die on the streets in a city like Glasgow is appalling, even more so as it is entirely preventable. Homeless people are not expendable lives. The council's provision for vulnerable people is woeful and its response to this death as been insulting.”
Activists have pledged that they will not allow another winter to pass with so many seeking warm and safe accomodation.
Writing about the reasons she had signed the petition, Anne F said: “Because it is so sad that people have to sleep outside at night i couldn’t even imagine how bad this could be my heart goes out to them xx.”
Responding to protests over the death, a GCC spokesperson said: “This was a tragic death and a police investigation is currently on-going.
“The cause of death has still to be determined and it would be inappropriate to comment on this until the facts have been established.
“Our street team works in the city centre every day to engage directly with people affected by homelessness and to direct them to them to available support.
“The reasons for homelessness can be complex and moving on from a chaotic lifestyle can be very difficult.”
GCC claims that the number of people applying for homelessness accommodation has fallen by more than half to around 6000 in the last ten years.
In the winter in 2016, homeless shelters across Scotland reported an increase in emergency applications for shelter. In April 2016 a homeless camp set up in Glasgow George Square demanding proper housing for the city’s homeless.
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.