Public Perceptions

This section of our website is related to the work we are currently undertaking with the Scottish Government and other partners, to challenge the stigma associated with homelessness. 

We want to change how homelessness is perceived and understood by the public, the media, statutory services, politicians and other third sector organisations. We along with partner agencies are going to create a series of resources that organisations and individuals can refer to in order to challenge the stigma and associated impact this has on homeless people and services. 

The words and images we use matter. They can lead to stigma and negative perceptions which reinforce the view that homelessness is rooted in personal choice. They have a profound impact on the day to day experiences and interactions of people who are homeless. We know from work carried out in Scotland with people who have lived experience of homelessness that the language and terminology so often used is disliked and contributes to their exclusion. Local authorities, the third sector, the Scottish Government and people with lived experiences would like the view of homelessness to shift to a more modern and evidence based direction.

If you have anything you want to ask or discuss then please contact our Communication and Engagement Manager, Garry Burns via email at garry@homelessactionscotland.org.uk. Alternatively you can reach out to Homeless Action Scotland on their twitter feed, which will provide information on public perceptions on a regular basis.

Please note this page is likely to change and evolve over time as we have discussions with our partners and take advice from other sector leaders in developing what  we think is going to be an exciting project, which informs our stakeholders, the media, the wider public and most importantly people who have been or who are currently homeless.

This work was and continues to be a collaboration between ourselves and the following organisations, Aberdeen Cyrenians, All in for Change, Bethany Christian Trust, Crisis Scotland, Glasgow City Mission, Homeless Network Scotland, Rock Trust, SeAscape, Scottish Government, Shelter Scotland , Simon Community, Streetworks, Street Soccer, Social Bite, A Way Home Scotland. We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to these organisations as well as state we look forward to working closely with them so that we can improve the public perception around homelessness in Scotland.

If you want to get involved with this work or want regular updates then please get in touch. We would particularly like to hear from people with lived experience or those who are working on the front line of homelessness or an associated service. However even if you do not fall into those categories we would still welcome your comments or ideas.