$44 Million Investment To Solve Homelessness In Northern Ireland

By Reina Ilagan

Dec 10, 2016 06:39 AM EST

Northern Ireland is moving to prevent homelessness through the Department for Communities by investing $44 million (£35 million) for providing support services including hostels, "crash" beds and outreach services.

Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA has outlined the government's efforts to support the cause during the start of Homelessness Awareness Week which is now on its 10th year.

"The role of Communities is vast but it is safe to say that one of the most important issues within my portfolio is to ensure that everyone has somewhere safe and secure to call home," said Minister Givan.

The issue of homelessness in Northern Ireland has long been linked to wider societal issues such as relationship breakdown, debt, underlying health issues, and addictions.

"Homelessness in our society can take different forms from those who may have a roof over their head such as those living in hostel accommodation, with friends or family or in unsuitable accommodation to the more visible and extreme situation of those who sleep rough on our streets," he added.

The Minister said that regardless of the circumstances, the department will work on ensuring the Executive is taking necessary measures to tackle the important issue.

He also testified on the impact of the funding in bringing a difference to people's lives.

"I have talked to those individuals who find themselves in very difficult circumstances and rely on the vital support services provided by these organizations. I cannot emphasize enough the contribution these services make to giving people a second chance and an opportunity to turn their lives around."

The government program to answer chronic homelessness aims to deliver improved wellbeing for the citizens. Minister Givan stated that he has listened to the views of the people in the homelessness sector. He also assured the public that his department will be working closely with the colleagues across the government in order to determine specific needs and come up with a focused action plan.

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