The Scottish Government has announced homeless Scots in London are to benefit from up to £50,000 for each year up until 2015 from money confiscated from crooks and fraudsters.
Borderline, an organisation based in the city, will receive from monies recovered through proceeds of crime legislation if the sum is matched through fundraising efforts led by the Church of Scotland.
The organisation helps reduce homelessness and prevent rough sleeping by offering a wide range of accommodation options to help clients gain a healthy, independent life.
The First Minister recently met with the Moderator of the Church of Scotland to discuss a way forward for Borderline and its future funding from the Scottish Government – this announcement is a direct result of that meeting.
Housing Minister Keith Brown, said:
“In the face of deep cuts to our budget from Westminster we continue to fund a wide range of initiatives to help tackle homelessness.
“That is why it is good news we have been able to find this money for Borderline, which I hope will make a real difference for Scots who have fallen on hard times in London.
“By using Proceeds of Crime, our budget for funding homelessness charities here in Scotland, and the crucial work they do, will remain unaffected.”
The Right Reverend David Arnott, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said:
“The Church of Scotland is willing to do what it can and I am delighted the First Minister has stated the Scottish Government will match whatever congregations raise.”
Borderline Chief Executive, Willie Docherty said:
“Had we not received this grant, it is highly likely that the Borderline would have closed its doors within months.”
This action is in marked contrast to plans proposed by London Westminster City council to outlaw ‘sleeping rough’ and to also to make punishable by fines anyone who feeds those people sleeping rough on the streets of Westminster City.