Assembly Committee Reviews Support for the Homeless

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 24 February 2011

Reference: SD 05/10/11

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development visited the Welcome Organisation on the Falls Road in Belfast today.

The Welcome Organisation works with very vulnerable and marginalised homeless people, helping them to find decent homes and reintegrate with wider society. Currently the organisation focuses on rough sleepers, the homeless and those who are at risk of losing their home.

Committee Chairperson, Simon Hamilton MLA said: “The Committee has spent a lot of time reviewing and considering legislation to ensure it protects the homeless. Visits like today are an important part of our work: they allow us to see and hear what it is like to live without life’s essentials, like a roof over our heads. Importantly, we also get the chance to see the practical support that bodies such as the Welcome Organisation offer. This helps the Committee review homelessness policies and ensure they provide real improvements for the thousands of people who find themselves homeless every year.

“It is essential that government acts in a joined-up way to deal with the many causes and consequences of homelessness. The Committee believes that the Homelessness Strategy, which is to be produced by the Housing Executive, should support the work of bodies like the Welcome Organisation. ”

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