Northern Ireland news

Increase of 220 per cent in rough sleepers on Belfast streets

The latest survey found 16 people sleeping rough, compared with five at the same time last year. Picture by Mal McCann

ON the evening of Tuesday, November 6, between 2am and 5am, the Housing Executive, in conjunction with other agencies, did the annual rough sleeper count in the Belfast area.

It found a total of 16 people sleeping rough, compared with five at the same time last year. An increase of 220 per cent.

Simon Community NI works "without judgement" to support people who are experiencing, or are at risk of homelessness.

It has 369 warm beds available each night and accommodates 2,391 people annually - 24/7 free phone helpline 0800 171 2222.

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Depaul has pioneered a `Housing First' approach, starting work in Northern Ireland in 2015.

The model seeks to place people with complex needs in to permanent housing and once there a team works to coordinate appropriate support around the individual so they can remain in their home.

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