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Homeless Emergency in Northern Ireland: Simon Community Appeals for Urgent Support this Christmas

30 November 2023

Alarming rise in homelessness statistics including 4,500 children homeless.

As Christmas approaches, Simon Community, the leading homelessness charity in Northern Ireland, is launching an appeal for fundraising support in the midst of increasing numbers of families and individuals becoming homeless. Newly released figures reveal that almost 27,000 households in NI are now officially classed as ‘homeless’, including over 4,500 children.

Karen McAlister, Head of Research & Development at Simon Community, said,

Over the past decade, we have witnessed a doubling of the total number of households classified as homeless, rising from 13,000 to 26,999. This means we have 27,000 families and individuals in Northern Ireland facing a Christmas this year without a place to call home.

McAlister continued,

Last year alone, Simon Community’s helpline received 16,000 calls from individuals seeking advice and support. Faced with the relentless pressures of the rising cost of living, an increasing number of families and individuals find themselves teetering on the edge of homelessness. The simple act of donating just £30.00 this Christmas could help us supply a welcome pack for a new client arriving at our doors with little to nothing.

This surge is attributed to a rise in unsuitable accommodation, family disputes leading to breakdowns, and a severe shortage of affordable housing.

The newly released figures also reveal that a staggering 45,292 households are on the social housing waiting list – the highest ever recorded.

Simon Community operates 20 temporary accommodation sites across Northern Ireland, providing assistance 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. The charity appeals for urgent financial support to ensure the continued operation of these services, offering a warm place to stay during the festive season and beyond for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

For more information about Simon Community and how to donate click here.

If you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of homelessness, call Simon Community’s free Homeless Support Line on 0800 171 222. Or click here to get help.