Located in Cambuslang, Glasgow, Eva Burrows 1st Stop Project provides direct access emergency accommodation for both single individuals and homeless families. The Lifehouse has 32 rooms, however, the maximum occupancy can be 40 due to the family rooms.
Over the year, the service user has continued to augment the community relations, which has resulted in the local allotment group relocating to a section of the grounds. This group has worked with the service users to establish their own raised beds and provides ongoing advice and guidance in allotment management - with the fruits of their labour being enjoyed by all at a group meal.
Robert Hare's story
"Hi my name is Robert Hare and this has been my journey - I used to be a professional footballer playing for the likes of Dundee United, Airdrie, Clyde and East Stirling but had to retire due to being sent to prison for various offences, including possession of a machete, police assaults and breach of the peace. I was sentenced to 22 months in Barlinnie prison where I did 11 months.
After my release I got a job driving for a gas company and met a girl to whom I have a beautiful son who is five years old now, but our relationship ended in November 2009 so I had to move out of our house and back to my mum and dad's couch. In March 2010, I got made redundant from my driving job which put a strain on my relationship with my parents. During the next three to four months I lost three friends, one to heart failure and the other two by suicide.
After this had happened I moved out my parents house and found myself sleeping rough on the streets of Glasgow for about six or seven nights during which period I came very close to committing suicide myself. I had to make a decision in my life whether to turn my life around or just go ahead and take my own life. Fortunately for me I chose to go and get help by contacting my old probation officer who contacted the local council where I then got a room in Eva Burrows Salvation Army hostel.
I spent 11 and a half months in there during which time I found out about a football drop-in session called Street Soccer Scotland, which was available for free to people who were basically disadvantaged in society. While attending those sessions I was asked if I would like to try out for the Scotland Homeless World Cup team, which I did, and was successful in not only getting in the team - I was made captain. In 2011 we went to Paris and were crowned World Cup winners. I came back from Paris and moved out from Eva Burrows and into my own tenancy where I still am. I am now a full time employee with Street Soccer Scotland as a community coach/co-coordinator, which to this day would not have been possible without the support and facility of Eva Burrows staff, who helped not only save my life but completely turn it around and for that I will be eternally grateful for the rest of my life. So to everyone at the Eva Burrows, Salvation Army and Street Soccer Scotland – THANK YOU, SO, SO MUCH for your major part in my journey.
Raymond Parson's story
"My life spiralled out of control after I lost my mum, my home, my health and my job. I'd never experienced homelessness before.
"That's when I was referred to the Eva Burrows First Stop Project in Cambuslang for support. I was at my lowest ebb, totally rock bottom. I'd worked all my life and found myself having to survive on £63 a week.
"I was in a wheelchair and worried about becoming isolated but the staff at Eva Burrows First Stop Project were wonderful. They encouraged me to get involved in the activities and social nights.
"The help I've received is enabling me to come out the other side. I'm a lot happier now. The Eva Burrows First Stop Project is a great environment - and I know I'll be able to come back and visit when I've moved on."