The number of people using a homeless service in Glasgow more than doubled year-on-year as Scotland's housing crisis bites.

The Scottish Government this week declared a national housing emergency, joining five local councils which had already done so.

Glasgow City Mission has been operating a winter project in Glasgow, one of the councils to declare a housing emergency, for 14 years to provide routes out of rough sleeping in the cold winter months.

This year its Overnight Welcome Centre ran from December 1 to March 31 and had 1,091 unique guests - more than double the number (534) of 2022-23.

The organisation said it was their busiest year ever, with 4,810 presentations in total.

The Herald:

Of the 1,091 people, 945 were eligible for accommodation but Glasgow City Mission's out of hours service was only able to offer 13% a bed, compared to 76% the previous winter.

In its report the organisation said: "These additional pressures resulted in large numbers of people choosing to stay inside our OWC throughout the night rather than sleeping outside.

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"This happened on 2,795 occasions, over ten-times last year’s figure. Sadly, there were even some occasions, 20 out of 122 nights, where we had to turn people away at the door because we had no capacity.

"Turning people away is always one of the hardest things staff have to do."

The Overnight Welcome Centre also funded emergency beds in a private hotel, raising the number of rooms from six to 12 - all rooms were occupied every night.

Glasgow City Mission said in its report that addiction and mental health issues presented significant challenges, with naloxone - used to combat opioid overdose - administered seven times, 30 ambulance visits, 19 guests taken to A&E by taxi and one case in which staff had to apply CPR to an unresponsive person.

The report states: "Mental health concerns continue to be an area of intense need within the OWC.

"Services across the city are extremely stretched and it is near impossible to access support for individuals unless they are at risk of causing extreme harm to themselves."

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Mission said: "The introduction of local housing emergencies brought no meaningful actions. Glasgow City Mission’s hope is the national emergency will result in a prioritising of effort to address the dire national housing problem.

"We must take a view of who in Scotland can provide housing – government, local government, registered social landlords and crucially the private rented sector. This is an emergency, all options need to be seriously considered."