Charity In A Sweat Over £500k Debt

A HOMELESS charity could be forced to repay a £500,000 debt in full to Glasgow City Council. The Glasgow Simon Community is under investigation after failing to deliver services to the homeless paid for by the council over two years.

Council bosses were expected to agree to write off £250,000 of the debt with the rest paid up over a five-year period.

However, councillors were unhappy with the proposal and voted unanimously against it at a finance meeting last week.

The decision has now been deferred pending a probe into the board’s running of the charity.

The council is the main client of the project, which runs eight supported accommodation units across the city.

The company’s financial crisis has been blamed on mismanagement within its board.

It is understood office bearers intend to resign at the charity’s annual general meeting next month.

SNP Councillor Alex Dingwall said: “There is a lot of goodwill towards the charity but writing off £250,000 is a big ask in these challenging times.

“We would like a report on the governance of the board.

“The Social Work department have been told to have contingency plans in place.

“The financial director will decide whether it is feasible for them to pay the full £500,000.”

The Glasgow Simon Community – which is the main provider of homeless services in Glasgow, has been working with the city’s homeless for more than 40 years.

The community also runs a street work project for rough sleepers and services for addiction, mental health and social inclusion.

Acting chief executive Lynne Carr said forcing the charity to repay the full amount would be “disastrous”.

She said: “We’re now working with the council and are pleased with the support that has been given to us.”