Homeless hostel in Glasgow closes

A much criticised hostel for homeless people
closed its doors in Glasgow last week.

The Great Eastern Hotel accommodated 120
long-term residents, many with chronic alcohol addiction and mental
health problems. Conditions were spartan and the name Great Eastern
became synonymous in the city with being homeless.

The closure marks a significant step in the
strategy to rehouse all 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

Project co-ordinator of the de-commissioning
group, Rhona Murray, 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
bankrolled to the tune of £12 million by the Scottish

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parliament, said: “It’s clear that Glasgow’s old, out-of-date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

There are proposals to convert the five-storey
Victorian hotel into luxury flats.

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