New Mid Ulster homeless group

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A newly formed Regional Homelessness Group for the Mid-Ulster area has met to highlight the support that is available across the statutory and voluntary sector.

Part of Homelessness Awareness Week 2018, organisations represented on the new group include Belfast Central Mission, Depaul, Housing Executive, MUST Hostel, Northern Trust, Police Service of Northern Ireland, STEP NI and Women’s Aid.

Meeting at The Junction in Dungannon, the Group received an update on progress to achieve actions in the Housing Executive’s Ending Homelessness Together strategy, which runs from 2017-2022.

The event also saw a number of presentations from the provider sector, outlining the issues they see as being key in addressing homelessness in Northern Ireland.

The strategy has a renewed focus on the prevention of homelessness and tackling its root causes as well as effectively responding to homelessness.

The event also saw the launch of a Local Service Directory which agencies and households can use to identify and access a wide range of services.

Housing Executive Mid-Ulster Area Manager, Michael Dallat, said: “It is important that our efforts to reduce homelessness are part of a bigger picture, which includes tackling the causes of social and economic exclusion and improving access to health and social care services.

“To achieve this in the current economic climate requires greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention through multi-agency work, including sharing resources and continuously looking for creative and innovative solutions.”

Joanne Dougan of STEP NI, added: “It is extremely important that all sectors work together to alleviate homelessness. Events like these raise awareness of the complexity of homelessness and the wide range of agencies that must come together to support households to find sustainable housing and support solutions.”