Homelessness Awareness Day
Belfast Central Mission
Stakeholder organisations and members of the public invited to major new event around homelessness in Northern Ireland.
Belfast Central Mission (BCM) is holding a thought-leadership and information day on Thursday, 12th March, to raise awareness and encourage conversation around the escalating issue of homelessness across Northern Ireland.
Having been successful in securing funding from the Housing Executive’s Homeless Prevention Fund, BCM is holding this awareness day at BCM’s Grosvenor House, Belfast. The event will provide organisations that work in the sector with an opportunity to come together to share best practice, engage with members of the public and lobby politicians and community leaders in how to prevent and tackle the issue.
Figures published in 2019 by the Department for Communities and NISRA reveal that there are more than eighteen thousand households registered as homeless across Northern Ireland with single males (33%) and families (32%) being the most represented.
Lois Payam, Head of Residential Services at BCM, said;
“Homelessness is becoming increasingly prevalent in our cities and throughout rural communities. With this event, we want to champion the work that is already being carried out across Northern Ireland, but to also work together in determining how we can seek to prevent homelessness and, where it does occur, to lessen and ultimately eradicate the numbers living rough on the streets or in temporary housing.”
According to the DfC report of February 2019, the primary reasons for presenting as homeless were an unreasonable standard of accommodation (23.1%) or a family dispute or breakdown in sharing arrangement (20.6%). Others included the end of a relationship, neighbourhood harassment or a lack of available accommodation.
Claire Crainey, team lead for the NIHE’s Homelessness Prevention fund, said;
“As with so many issues, we need to be talking more about homelessness. We want to encourage that conversation between stakeholders, leaders and organisations, as well as the general public, who we are urging to come along and learn more about the complex nature of homelessness and what they can do to help ensure anyone approaching crisis can access support.”
Taking place from 10am to 1pm on March 12th, the Homelessness Awareness Day is being led by BCM’s Supported Housing projects, which provide accommodation in different parts of Northern Ireland, for young people aged 16-21 who have been through the care system or been homeless.
For up to two years, the BCM staff will work with each individual on a one-to-one basis, developing their social, financial and basic living skills, preparing them for independent living with prospects of employment or further education.
They will be joined on the day by more than 25 stakeholder organisations including Simon Community, MACS, Supporting People, Triangle Housing, Start 360 and many more.
To register for a stall or display area, or for more information, please contact Richard Dougherty on 02879634842 or [email protected].
For interview or imagery requests please contact Chris Pollock at BCM on 02890241917 / 07506884213 or by emailing: [email protected]
- Advice services
- Community development
- Community relations
- Health and wellbeing
- Housing and homelessness
- Young people