During the pandemic, thousands have been made homeless. But beyond the official statistics, many more are living invisibly

In early August, I boarded an almost empty train running up the north-east coast from Newcastle to Dundee, on my way to visit Eagles Wings Trust, a small homelessness and addiction charity doing important grassroots work in Scotland’s fourth-largest city.

The homelessness crisis in Dundee, one of the UK’s poorest cities, seemed unchanged since my last visit to the charity in 2018. But the pandemic has forced a change to its usual work; the former evening soup kitchen and afternoon drop-in centre has been reduced to a daily food-bank service, with a clientele that is more diverse than ever. “[Since lockdown] we’ve had teachers and nurses in,” one volunteer told me as the queue started to build outside. “These are very challenging times for a lot of folk.”

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