New appeal launched to tackle homelessness crisis

28 November 2023
You don't get better sleeping in a doorway

On Giving Tuesday, Cyrenians is launching a new funding appeal to tackle Scotland’s homelessness crisis. This winter, the Edinburgh-based charity is asking people to go beyond crisis support, and help make #RoomToHeal from the underlying causes of homelessness. 

According to Scottish Government statistics, almost 1 in every 100 people in Scotland were homeless in the last year – a staggering 53,000 people, including over 16,000 children. Tackling this growing crisis takes more than short-term support. It requires the time, investment and work to deal with the root causes. 

Whether it’s poverty, trauma, mental health, or trouble at home, homelessness doesn’t come from nowhere. It’s a symptom of years of being hurt and let down. Without the space, time and safety to address these issues, 1 in 8 people will end up back in homelessness within 5 years.  

Reflecting on this figure, Mark Diver, Homeless Navigator at Cyrenians, said; 

“You can get people off the street, but it’s a plaster on an open wound unless we can change the things that put them there to start with.” 

It takes time and trust to make lasting change. For decades now, Cyrenians hasworked to take that time and build that trust, working with people on their own terms to help them break out of homelessness for good. And this December, Cyrenians is calling on people across Scotland to give the gift of healing.  

Donations to the Room to Heal appeal will help provide lasting, open-ended and person-centred support, helping people break out of the cycle of homelessness, poverty and trauma. 

Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive of Cyrenians, said, 

“For many, the biggest challenge is not finding somewhere to call home, important as that is, but having somewhere safe to begin the healing required - healing from the kinds of trauma that make homelessness a risk, as well as the trauma of homelessness itself. Long periods stuck in limbo, like the 20-month average wait faced by families in temporary housing, bring the huge stress of instability - challenges with keeping a job, maintaining relationships, managing stigma - and often all in property which doesn’t meet the legal standards for temporary accommodation. The housing crisis in Edinburgh particularly, and Scotland as a whole, is devastating – and its impacts will be felt for generations. 

But one small sign of hope in all this is how often we hear people ask, “What can we do to help?” 

This winter, Cyrenians is asking people to help create room to heal, helping people not just towards a home but towards a brighter, more stable future. No matter how much or how little, your gift could provide trust and support; a safe place to stay; confidence and independence – and it can help people build a stable, positive future on their own terms.” 

You can help create the #RoomToHeal in all sorts of ways this winter. 

  • Give the gift of healing with ongoing support or a one-off donation here
  • Get involved in our fundraising events this winter – all proceeds go to supporting people facing or healing from homelessness across South-East Scotland. 
  • Get out in your community – contact if you’d like to support the campaign through your work, school, or community groups. You can link your fundraising to our campaign on JustGiving here: 
  • Sign up to our Supporter Newsletter to hear about all the latest opportunities to volunteer, fundraise, and support our work.