Infamous Glasgow hostel for homeless people closes

An infamous hostel for homeless people in Glasgow has closed its
doors for the last time.

The Great Eastern Hotel accommodated 120 long term residents,
many with chronic alcohol addiction and mental health problems.
Conditions were sparse with residents allocated small, cell-size
cubicles and sharing most other facilities. The name, Great
Eastern, become synonymous in Glasgow for being down and out.

The closure of the Great Eastern Hotel marks a major step in the
strategy to re-house all of the Glasgow’s hostel dwellers in
smaller units offering intensive social care and health support.
Scottish Homes funded the £8 million decommissioning of the
Great Eastern along with Glasgow Council, Loretto and Milnbank
Housing Associations.

Rhona Murray, project co-ordinator of the de-commissioning
group, said: “It’s a happy day when the worst hostel in
Glasgow is closed.”

The city-wide strategy of closing all of Glasgow’s 1,100
hostel beds over the next four years has been financed with
£12 million from the Scottish executive.

Welcoming the closure of the Great Eastern Hotel, Jackie
Baillie, social justice minister, said: “It’s clear that
Glasgow’s old, out-of-date hostels are part of the homeless
problem and not part of the solution.”

The five-storey Victorian building looks set now to be converted
into luxury flats.

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