House ‘gift wrapped’ to raise awareness of homelessness

CAMPAIGNERS have “gift wrapped” an Edinburgh house to raise awareness of homelessness over Christmas.

Campaigners gift wrap a full-size affordable home in Edinburgh, in a bid to raise awareness of the plight of homeless Scottish children this Christmas. Picture: Hemedia

Shelter Scotland said it is a “mark of shame” that almost 5,000 children in Scotland will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, a 15% increase from last year.

Figures released earlier this year showed a fall in homelessness applications, but Shelter said uncertainty remains for people living in temporary accommodation.

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The charity is calling for 12,000 affordable homes to be built in Scotland every year.

The gift-wrapped house in Edinburgh belongs to Link Housing Association, and is said to represent “every child’s wish for a safe and secure place to call home”.

Alison Watson, deputy director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The fact that almost 5,000 children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day is a mark of shame in 21st century Scotland.

“This gift-wrapped house represents every child’s wish for a safe and secure place to call home - a place where they can play, enjoy family life, learn and thrive.

“Through our work with families and children, we know that many of Scotland’s homeless children will be going to bed on Christmas Eve with this wish. Sadly for most, their wish will not be answered in time for this Christmas, but it’s by no means too late to help them.

“We urge all of Scotland’s political parties to include ambitious targets for new affordable housing in their manifestos for next year’s Holyrood election campaigns and bring hope to those without a permanent place to call home.”