Housing

'Let Them In' – Public demand action after latest homeless death in Glasgow

In the UK’s latest shocking homeless death this winter, a young father froze to death in a city centre street

Empty shops around the UK could be used for emergency shelter

When we launched our Fill ’Em Up campaign last year The Big Issue called for empty buildings to be deployed as shelter for homeless people, to stem the rising tide of rough sleeper deaths in the UK.

A stark message on homeless deaths was emblazoned on the empty BHS in Glasgow

Last week, the horrifying cost of failing to use the ample resources of vacant shops became all too apparent when 28-year-old Matthew Bloomer, a young father who was sleeping rough in Glasgow, apparently froze to death overnight in a main shopping street.

It is the latest in a shocking spate of deaths of people sleeping on the streets across Britain this winter.

After Matthew’s death a vigil and protest were organised, and calls were issued that the city’s many unused properties be opened up as temporary accommodation.

The next day, this graffiti scrawled on Glasgow’s massive empty city centre BHS store – a brand that has become a symbol for the public’s disgust at corporate greed after it was bled dry and run into the ground making thousands redundant – says it all.

Main image: iStock / Getty / tirc83

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
TSB Bank forced to change buy-to-let mortgage policy after renters' furious sit-in protest
Renters from Acorn union occupied TSB branches to force a climbdown on buy-to-let mortgages
Renting

TSB Bank forced to change buy-to-let mortgage policy after renters' furious sit-in protest

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'
Homelessness

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'

Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?
rents uk
Renting

Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives
rough sleeping and temporary accommodation in Scotland is under the spotlight on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
homelessness

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know