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Simon Community NI responses to an AQ posed by Andy Allen MLA

21 January 2022

It is awful to think that 217 vulnerable individuals were not provided with the dignity of having a place to call home in their final days. That averages over 4 people a week. Furthermore, it’s alarming that in 2019 the Bureau of Investigative Journalism announced that 205 homeless people here died over an eighteen-month period yet what we’re now seeing is more people dying in a shorter timescale.

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Without knowing the background to each person’s case, it is difficult to comment fully on the subject. However, what the figures suggest to me is that, like the majority of homelessness in Northern Ireland, the issue remains very much hidden. If this was 217 road deaths in a single year, there would be much more of an outcry and action on the problem. But, unfortunately, many of these deaths are going unnoticed.

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We believe no one should die homeless and we continue to push for an increase in housing supply, stronger inter-departmental workings and greater funding for essential homelessness services. Without commitment to these, we will only see more people dying while waiting to be allocated a place to call their home.

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