More than 5,000 children in Scotland will be homeless this Christmas, a charity has warned.
Shelter Scotland has just launched a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of homeless families over the festive period.
The housing and homelessness charity said around 75,000 youngsters, including 5,300 in Scotland, will wake up on Christmas Day without a home.
Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: "It's easy to think of homelessness as single people sleeping rough. What people don't often consider is the rising numbers of families who, through no fault of their own, have lost their home and have no permanent roof over their heads.
"For people with children, sofa surfing with friends and family just isn't a realistic option and the temporary accommodation they are forced to stay in is often unsuitable and of poor quality."
Last year the charity helped more than 1,000 people at risk of becoming homeless over the festive period, and it expects even more will need help this year.
Data from the charity's helpline and advice services show that the main causes of homelessness can be the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of a job.
Mr Brown said: "Every day our helpline hears more stories of cockroaches, health problems, bad landlords and bitter cold. It's a disgrace - and we need people's support to do something about it.
"No child should be homeless at Christmas. Every December, Shelter Scotland's helpline and advisers deal with thousands of people at risk of losing their home.
"We need everyone's support in the coming months so our teams can help prevent families from becoming homeless and if the worst happens, support them to get a decent roof over their heads."