Turning Point Scotland played host in Glasgow to a dozen delegates from European cities who want to find out more about the Housing First model to help tackle homelessness.

It was part of an adult lifelong learning programme partly funded by Grundtvig which supports education and training across Europe.

Turning Point Scotland is taking part in the European exchange project over two years which looks at the homelessness strategies in different countries and how the Housing First model can fit into this context.

The visitors from Barcelona, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna heard presentations on housing and homelessness policy at The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council level on the situation in Scotland, before hearing about Housing First itself from Emma Hamilton and Sharon Berrie. The visitors also made their own presentations about what attempts they had made to implement their own versions of Housing First. Among some of the interesting policy developments in Europe include a major review of homelessness policy in France with a new strategy, including aspects of the Housing First model, following a 25% rise in homelessness since 2008. While the Spanish national government currently have no national strategy on homelessness, so back in 2007 the Generalitat of Catalonia (autonomous community government) pioneered a Catalan ‘right to housing’ law, including a proper ‘definition’ of homelessness.

Our European colleagues also made personal visits to some of our services to see how the people are benefitting from supported accommodation at Housing First, Link Up, Garscube and Moving On.

Turning Point Scotland’s Operations Manager Iain Irvine said:

“This week has been very rewarding in terms of sharing our experiences of the Housing First model with our colleagues from Vienna, Paris, Barcelona and Helsinki. We can always benefit from the experience of others and the sharing from other countries helped us see that Turning Point Scotland can be confident of the progress it has made with its Housing First pilot service compared to some others. By participating in shared learning can help make further progress as we strive to develop our approach even further. I am in no doubt our visitors have found this a very useful and insightful few days.”

Turning Point Scotland’s Chief Executive Martin Cawley said:

“The last couple of days have been immensely enjoyable, as all the staff involved have worked extremely hard to make this learning and cultural exchange a success, and I’d like to thank them personally for this. Not only have we learnt about our European colleagues and the opportunities and challenges they are facing in their own countries, it is clear we can be proud of the knowledge and experience we can share with our European neighbours. Hopefully they also enjoyed receiving a wee taste of Scottish hospitality and the warm welcome that goes with that.”

If you would like to find out more about the organisations who visited Glasgow check out these websites:


Name on the Door Project

Fonds Soziales Wien