GHIFT blog: Why I’m All in for Glasgow

All in for Glasgow is facilitated by Homeless Network Scotland to co-design a blueprint for services people in the city affected by homelessness need during the cost of living crisis and beyond.

Commissioners, service providers and people with lived experience are working together in a series of design sessions to create a service model focused on people’s needs and with fairness and equality built into it from the start. HNS Associate and Glasgow Homelessness Involvement and Feedback Team (GHIFT) member Jeremy talks about what it means to him to be involved in the programme, which was launched earlier this year.

Being asked to write this blog about All in for Glasgow made me reflect on why I got involved in this work. It’s been more than five years and I’ve seen so many changes in myself and in my role at Homeless Network Scotland.

Through my own experience of becoming homeless, I understand the many barriers people face when accessing services.

I just felt this passion and urge to get involved. I wanted to have a voice again and to hear the voices of others who are out there struggling. Basically, I’m Glaswegian and I care about the people in this city.

I started out volunteering for the first three years as a member of the Glasgow Homelessness Involvement and Feedback Team (GHIFT), which I loved as I was able to engage with people across the city who where accessing different services and give them an opportunity to have their voice heard.

A big shift happened for me when my role changed and I became an Associate of HNS, which meant I now had a worker role and was paid for any hours I worked.

Becoming a worker made a big difference to me personally, and I could see the difference it made to the relationship I had with my family, which has gone from strength to strength.

Getting this opportunity to be involved in All in for Glasgow has come at a good time for me. I feel that I’m in a good place – that really matters when you’re involved in this type of work, as you need to bring good energy and new ideas to make any kind of positive change.

Looking back on my own experience of homelessness, I’m now aware there are a lot of myths out there among the public regarding someone who is or has been homeless. This is something that I’m always challenging, and being involved with HNS gives me the space to do this.

Being involved in designing new services is really interesting, challenging and fun – sometimes that is forgotten. All of this work gives me focus and the challenge I need right now.

Working with other people who have experienced homelessness is a great learning opportunity, as people bring so many skills to the table.

Being part of All in for Glasgow will give me the chance to make sure I hold all the services to account and to reach the standard I believe people using the service deserve. People need to be listened to and it should be solutions focused.

Working with this group of people makes me feel like the future is bright for me and the people of Glasgow.