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Homeless figures inspire new awareness campaign on World Homeless Day

10 October 2017

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Simon Community NI, has launched a brand-new awareness campaign to coincide with World Homeless Day on Tuesday 10 October 2017. Our latest campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the shocking fact that on average 100,000 people are currently without their own home in Northern Ireland. 

Jim Dennison, Chief Executive, Simon Community NI, said:

“This alarming figure was highlighted in the latest Homeless Monitor for Northern Ireland*, a report commissioned annually by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, University of New South Wales, and Heriot Watt University in Scotland. The reality is that as many as 136,000 adults in Northern Ireland are living without a home of their own, often sharing with family or friends, because they are often not seen or recorded on official statistics. Proportionately the level of homelessness is higher in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK and we must act to support these people now. We will be asking government departments not to ignore the size of this rising homeless crisis and we will be pressing our elected representatives in the hope that they will get back to doing business at Stormont.”

To support this message we are rolling out an outdoor marketing campaign to raise awareness of the growing issues of homelessness in Northern Ireland. 

Tuesday 10 October 2017 is also World Mental Health Day and we are keen to stress that mental health issues and homelessness are very often linked. Kevin Bailey, Head of Homeless Services for the charity, said:

“Homelessness and mental health are often interconnected issues in Northern Ireland. Having a mental health problem can create the circumstances which can cause a person to become homeless in the first place. Yet poor housing or homelessness can also increase the chances of developing a mental health problem, or exacerbate an existing condition. In turn, this can make it even harder for individuals to recover – to develop good mental health, to secure stable housing, to find and maintain a job, to stay physically healthy and to maintain healthy relationships. These are social issues that require a focused partnership approach from Government through to localised delivery across Northern Ireland ensuring that we prevent homelessness and poor mental health as well as providing the right service at the right time to meet individual’s needs,” Kevin added.