A team from A&DS is joining 9,000 others in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, on the 9th of December for the World’s largest ever sleepout to raise funds and awareness about homelessness. In the run up to the event we asked those taking part to outline what motivated them to sign up. Here Graham Hill, Board Member of Architecture and Design Scotland and the Arcadis City Executive for Scottish Cities, tells his story:
Walking briskly on a dreich winters day when the mist of rain saturates any uncovered clothing and the cold forces me to brave the biting wind with bare hands, pulling my coat in tighter before diving into the safe, warm, dry building of my destination. Sadly in getting to our destinations in Scottish Cities we will all too often have to step around a blanket clad soul, perhaps seeking some donations or simply there as they have nowhere else that is safe to go. They have no secure and dry building to shelter and have no home for the night. For them it is an uncertain and freezing night of sleeping rough where the weather is only one of the hazards they will face on the cold and wet streets of our cities. Violent attacks are common.
People who find themselves in these desperate situations often come to be there through a bad run of luck or through addiction or physical and mental disabilities. Sometimes through a combination of these and other complex factors.
The increasing numbers of homeless in our cities and those sleeping rough is a stark reminder of the worst outcome of the housing crisis we are facing and provides us all with the stimulus to try to do our bit to help address it.
My own organisation has presented evidence on where opportunities exist to improve the supply of housing and we support the important work of Mind and the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Architecture and Design Scotland is fully committed to increasing the quantity and quality of housing, recognising the importance of placemaking for sustainable communities.
The Social Bite initiative from humble beginnings has made real impact in positively changing people’s lives for the better in Scotland. Their campaign to draw attention to the plight of the homeless in our society, and, their 5 year campaign to end homelessness starts here https://www.sleepinthepark.co.uk/ I am sleeping in the park to show support for Social Bite’s work and to raise funds for this important initiative. I hope that you will give generously.
Please consider supporting Graham and the A&DS team in reaching their fundraising target. You can make a donation here.