A volunteer ambulance driver who has fed hundreds of vulnerable people trapped in their homes during lockdown has been left homeless.
Callum Coulson, 33, was left on the street after council officials ordered an evacuation of his Glasgow home.
He was among dozens of people affected after council building standards officers and structural engineers ruled the tenement unsafe.
The St Andrew’s Ambulance driver says he felt “abandoned” by the authorities as lockdown restrictions were reintroduced in the city and he was left struggling to find shelter.
Council officials admitted only one person from the block of six privately owned flats was given information about emergency accommodation.
Police had earlier been called after shocked tenants initially refused to leave their homes.
Callum, who delivers food and support to the elderly and people forced to shield from coronavirus, said: “I got a call at work telling me I had 20 minutes to get home to get all my belongings out of my home during a pandemic. It was the worst experience of my life.
“There was just total panic. There were police vans outside the building and the pavement was covered with stock from the shops on the ground floor, and people’s belongings.
“Nobody knew what was happening. I saw just one person wearing a Glasgow City Council hi-visibility jacket and they were sticking close to the surveyor.
“There was nobody from the council making themselves known to us, nobody acknowledging the distress we were in after being put out of our houses at 10pm on a Friday night, nobody making it their priority to make sure we knew we had options.
“There were between 14 and 25 people living in that block including a family of three generations and an elderly man on his own. We didn’t have a clue what to do.
“It was pandemonium. There were people rushing around carrying furniture down stairs, and absolutely no social distancing.
“By the time I got there from work, the police told me I had 10 minutes to grab what I needed before they boarded the place up.”
Callum lost his job at Glasgow Science Centre during the pandemic.
He took shifts at a fast food takeaway and spent more than 300 hours as a volunteer driver for St Andrew’s Ambulance in conjunction with the British Red Cross.
He also works part-time for touring educational theatre company Baldy Bane.
Callum’s flatmate paid for an Airbnb for the first night and they were given the use of a friend’s flat for the second night.
He claims he spent hours trying to access the council’s homelessness emergency team before giving up and paying for a city centre hotel, who offered a reduced rate.
Callum said: “I’ve spent hours on the phone to the council’s homelessness helpline and not been able to get through. I had to get a hotel but I don’t have the money to stay there past the weekend.
“I know there are people in worse situations than me. I put a message on Facebook later in the week and people reached out to help me one way or another.
“But there are other people out there who don’t have anyone to help in a situation like this, and that doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Residents had previously raised concerns with the building at Eglinton Toll in Govanhill. It is thought to show signs of damage to walls and signs of structural movement.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said building standards officers, working with a structural engineer appointed by one of the property’s owners deemed the building unsafe on September 11.
He confirmed “only one person sought/was given advice about receiving support from our homelessness team for temporary accommodation.”
He added: “Officers from the council’s Building Standards team (surveyors and an engineer) attended the property and agreed it should be evacuated.
“At this point – as would be normal practice in such an emergency situation – residents were asked to leave.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We were called to assist Glasgow City Council with evacuating a building on Eglinton Street in Glasgow which had been deemed unsafe shortly after 8.05pm. Officers provided support.”
David MacIver, manager of Shelter Scotland’s Glasgow Community Hub, said: “No one should be removed from their home without support. We’re in touch with Glasgow City Council to clarify the details of what happened in this case.”