Homelessness in Northern Ireland is sadly a situation that touches too many people and families; and it’s not just those experiencing homelessness that suffer the consequences of it. Julie Anne got in touch with us as she was fundraising over the Christmas period to raise money for our front line services.

While she has not experienced homelessness herself, she has supported a family member through it and has seen first hand the impact caused by the complex issues associated with not having a permanent, secure place to call home. This is Julie Anne’s story.

“I’m ashamed to say it, but a few years ago I would have been the first person to judge a homeless person or an addict.

Until one day…suddenly I was that person having to deal with a family member battling both!

I didn’t even know Simon Community NI existed, until unfortunately they became a part of my life one day. If it had not have been for them, I don’t know how we would have got through a lot of things.

One worker named Ruth, never gave up trying to help, even when the going got tough and others would have run out of patience! She was a godsend. She never once judged, her only agenda was to help and she was so passionate about doing so.

For everyone thinking, ‘Oh that’ll never happen to our family!’….. I was that person too. Little did I know what was about to land at my door.

The people Simon Community NI help are all someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother or sister; and they all deserve a helping hand in life.

So on 27th December 2016, I ran 9 hilly miles in Castlewellan in fancy dress with my friend Dawn Ross. I was so happy to complete this charity run and raise almost £650 to give a little back to the charity and help others in need, the same way they helped us. My target was £500 so it was great to raise more than that.

My theory is that every little helps; and you just never know if you or a family member will need their help some day.”

Make a donation to help end homelessness in Northern Ireland or if you are concerned about a family member or friend, contact us at info@simoncommunity.org or call 0800 171 2222.

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