Brady concern over ‘shocking’ Newry homelessness figures

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Monday, July 27th, 2015
Community, Politics
Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has said more must be done to tackle homelessness in the constituency after it was revealed that Newry has the highest level of homelessness in the southern region.
Mickey Brady and Jim Denison, Chief Executive of the Simon Community

Mickey Brady and Jim Denison, Chief Executive of the Simon Community

The figures were revealed after Brady met with Jim Denison, Chief Executive of the Simon Community on Thursday to discuss levels of homelessness across the north. Mr Denison, who presented the Sinn Féin MP with the Simon Community’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan to tackle homelessness, described the meeting as “very positive.” Brady said some of the figures were truly shocking. “There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about homelessness that people do not understand,” he said. “It is a far more pressing matter, particularly here in Newry, than you might imagine. We have the highest level of homelessness in the entire southern region here; three times the level they are experiencing in Armagh. “Homelessness doesn’t necessarily mean people sleeping on the streets. It can be people in emergency accommodation, people staying with family and friends or sleeping night to night on different couches. While it’s obviously good not to have people out on the streets it does somewhat hide how serious the problem is getting,” he insisted. “As austerity continues to bite this is a problem that is only going to get worse so it’s important we tackle it now. Most of us in the north are just 19 days away from being on the breadline. Just a few missed pay cheques in an emergency and most of us could find ourselves in a similar situation. “This is not an issue that effects others, this is very much hanging over all of us. If you or anyone you know is currently homeless or in danger of being homeless soon I’d urge you to contact the Simon Community on their Freephone Helpline 0800 171 2222. Or if you’d like to help them out call 028 90 232 882 for more information,” Brady added.

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