06/11/2003

Figures show rise in Belfast homeless

Almost 23,000 people were classed as homeless in Northern Ireland last year, according to a leading charity.

The Simon Community, which provides a service to homeless people in 18 locations across the province, said that there had also been a 13% rise in the numbers of homeless in Belfast.

The figures were revealed yesterday as the charity launched its public affairs strategy, 'Addressing Homelessness' which outlined seven steps the government should take to deal with the problem.

Commenting on homelessness, former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alex Maskey said: " There can be no acceptable level of homelessness. We need improved resources and legislation and more support for the organisations that are working flat out to deal with rising homelessness.

"This means money for temporary accommodation, transitional housing and hostel accommodation – including hostels for young people with on-site access to specific support services.”

'Addressing Homelessness' was launched by Lord Mayor of Belfast, Martin Morgan, at City Hall on Wednesday.

(MB)

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