The relationship between gambling harm and homelessness might seem obvious, however, very little work has been done to look at this in Scotland. Gambling is rarely mentioned when discussing homelessness, even though it can contribute towards relationship and family breakdowns, rent and bill arrears, domestic violence, debt and deteriorating mental health - all of which can lead to someone being asked to leave their accommodation.

We recognised that many homelessness organisations would screen and offer support for people using substances (alcohol and other drugs) but that gambling harm, whether from your own or someone else’s gambling, was left out of the conversation.

As questions surrounding gambling harms have never been posed at Simon Community Scotland, or in the wider homeless sector, we knew we needed action to support people and staff.

The sole experience of either homelessness or gambling harm can lead to feelings of marginalisation, stigmatisation, deterioration of physical and mental health and lower life expectancy. When gambling harm and homelessness are combined, these harms can be exacerbated for the person who is gambling, the people in their life and the communities where they live.

This Toolkit has been designed for staff who support people experiencing homelessness. It will give you information about gambling and gambling harm, how to identify if someone is experiencing or affected by gambling harm and how to support and signpost them effectively to relevant services. This Toolkit has been created to accompany the Homelessness and Gambling Harm E-Learning which provides more in-depth learning and information linking homelessness and gambling harm.