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Pathways to Youth Homelessness

Pathways Event Image Press

Pictured above Louie Montgomery - Apex, Mary Ryan - MACS NI, Karen McAlister - Simon Community NI, Eileen Best - First Housing, Brendan Nellis - Barnardo's, Claire Finlay - BCM and Kathy Maguire - Council for Homeless NI.

On 7th December 2018, Simon Community NI hosted a working breakfast as part of Homeless Awareness Week. The event ‘Pathways to Youth Homelessness Findings Review: A multi-agency conversation’ provided an opportunity for the youth homeless sector in Northern Ireland to discuss the top-line results from this research and explore how best to translate the findings into departmental recommendations and sector actions.

Over 50 participants representing the statutory and voluntary sector attended the event including NHSCT, BHSCT, Youth Justice Agency, NIHE, Springboard, Belfast Metropolitan College, MACS, Barnardo’s, First Housing, ApexHousing, BCM and CHNI.

On the day, participants commented on: 

  • The emergence, and increased use, of heroin within the youth homelessness sector 
  • A serious gap in service provision relating to rehabilitation facilities for young people 
  • The impact of childhood trauma, domestic    violence and exploitation in youth homelessness – particularly with young females 
  • The rise of homelessness of young people who are transgender.
Pathways Event Eoin


  1. Development of a cross-party and inter-departmental Youth Homelessness Working Group responsible for homelessness prevention
  2. Further interrogation to be undertaken by statutory agencies into the decision making in relation to young people who are known to them who find themselves homeless post 18. This would enable a clearer understanding of homeless prevention strategies and should include:
    1. HSCT to review care pathways and decision making in relation to Looked After Children who find themselves homeless post 18
    2. HSCT to review the decision to end Social Work support to young people who find themselves homeless post 18
  3. Commitment to funding research that will explore the level of LGBT within youth homeless populations and the support needs of this group
  4. Exploration of a specific accommodation service for young females                                                                                         
  5. Public campaign that changes perceptions of youth homelessness and assists individuals to receive the support they need.

To download the full Pathways to Youth Homelessness research piece Click Here

To download Pathways to Youth Homelessness Summary Click Here

To download Pathways to Youth Homelessness presentation Click Here