A NOTE FROM JIM DENNISON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
When you think of homelessness, what do you picture? A young man in a sleeping bag slouched in a doorway in the city centre? Someone drunk on a park bench surrounded by empty bottles of cider? While these images tell of the experience of some homeless people across Northern Ireland, the truth about homelessness is that most of the time it is invisible – out of sight and, therefore, out of mind.
Hidden homelessness is not a new phenomenon, but it is a growing one. More and more people finding themselves with less money and less security to ensure they have a roof over their head. You might be surprised to learn that these people do not fit any one stereotype; they are young people, they are families with children, people in employment and older people.
So why do we know so little about this issue? At present, government collects statistics on the number of people who register to the Housing Executive as homeless. Nearly 20,000 people registered last year. This invisible problem is happening in every postcode across Northern Ireland and yet officially, the Government has no record of it.
Last year, Simon Community NI received more than 33,000 calls to its helpline, equal to one in every 50 people in Northern Ireland. This shows the very real and present threat that homelessness poses for thousands of people in Northern Ireland. It is time that we all faced up to the reality of homelessness and accept that it is no longer someone else’s problem.
Homelessness can be eradicated. Simon Community NI can achieve that goal, with your help.
Simon Community NI’s Senior Management Team has a wealth of experience to draw from in the fight against homelessness in Northern Ireland.
Director of Finance and Business Support
Head of Service - Mental Health / Acting Director of Homelessness Services
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development
HEADS OF SERVICES
Our Heads of Service offer expertise across five key areas to ensure our clients’ individual requirements are managed effectively. They have considerable experience in the fields of substance misuse, young people, mental health, offending behaviours and homelessness prevention.
Head of Service - Homelessness Prevention
Head of Service - Offending Behaviours
Head of Service - Young People
Head of Service - Substance Misuse