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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Homeless hostel closes down
The Great Eastern had very basic accommodation
A major hostel for homeless men in Glasgow is to close its doors.

The Great Eastern Hotel has provided accommodation for homeless men for more than half a century.

The closure marks the end of a seven-year initiative to rehouse the hostel's residents in better accommodation across the city.

Most of the 120 men who previously lived in the hostel now stay in housing association developments in and around Glasgow.

Homeless men
The hostel accommodated homeless men
Originally built in 1849 as the Duke Street Cotton Mill by Charles Wilson, the Great Eastern Hotel is one of Glasgow's most imposing 19th century buildings.

But the grandly named structure - five storeys in height and over 60m tall - has actually been used as a shelter for homeless men since 1907.

Pressure to close the hostel has mounted in recent years.

As the council pressed ahead with widespread housing renovation schemes and new hostel accommodation, the east end building remained a reminder of days gone by.

Mainstream homes

Now some 120 men, many of whom stayed there for years, have been resettled in the community.

They have been lodged in bright clean flats carefully selected among the city's mainstream homes.

The men have been able to pick their own furnishings and colour schemes and for many this is the first time they have ever had a choice.

Where possible, friends have been located in the same areas, and home helps or community psychiatric nurses visit regularly to provide support.

Many men still keep in touch with their old friends from the Great Eastern but others prefer their new life and the privacy it affords.

See also:

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MSPs rebel over council cash
11 Feb 00 | Scotland
Capital homeless 'crisis'
28 Feb 00 | Scotland
Scotland the poor
16 Sep 99 | Scotland
MSPs debate 'rough sleeping' issue
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