A picture of homeless people queuing for food in the freezing snow in Glasgow has been likened to a ‘communist country.’
The powerful image of George Square showed almost 200 people braving the elements as Storm Darcy brought a Baltic blast of cold weather to the UK.
The Kindness Homeless Street Team have continued to be out in all weathers this week to feed those in need.
One volunteer, Graeme Weir, shared the picture on Monday to show the reality of life on the streets during the coldest weather the country has seen for 25 years.
He said on Facebook: ‘This isn’t some Eastern European Country that’s been decimated by years of communist rule.
‘This is Glasgow City Center last night in the 21st Century where people are waiting in line to be fed by Kindness Homeless Street Team Glasgow.
‘This makes me so angry…this has to end. I know some of these people personally and most of them are good people who have just hit a “wee bump in the road”.
‘We as a civilised and caring nation need to step up. Even if all you can give is a little mutual respect, a smile and a hey hello the next time you see a homeless person, trust me it can be enough to turn their life around. Never has been, being kind matter so much now.’
The group says it has raised an extra £13,000 in donations since the picture went viral earlier this week.
Figures from across Scottish politics have also commented on the scenes, with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross saying it was ‘shocking’ and ‘appalling’ to see this is happening in Glasgow ‘in this day and age.’
The Kindness Homeless Street team was started by Glasweigian Laura McSorley, 37, in 2019, when she says she had just £5 in her pocket.
She told Sky News that demand increased dramatically when the first lockdown began last March, forcing her to set up a more large-scale operation and provide hot meals to those on the streets four nights a week.
Laura – and 60 of her volunteers – estimate they have handed out tens of thousands of meals and helped 150 people in finding a home.
The Scottish Government housed homeless people in hotels as the Covid crisis began and has insisted they have been given enough to eat.
But Ms McSorley claims some of the people they feed are only given a box of cereal and a piece of fruit to last them the whole day.
The image has prompted a debate about the state of homelessness in Scotland. Mr Ross told Sky the SNP had ‘let homelessness continue to rise on their watch and their budget shamefully proposes cutting over £250 million from the Social Housing budget’.
A Scottish Government spokesman said rough sleeping in Scotland was at a record low but the pandemic has ‘shown the underlying flaws in the UK Government’s welfare system.’
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