It is a sad reality that 3,402 households and 3,596 children are living in temporary accommodation (Department for Communities NI). However, this figure does not present the true picture of homelessness, as it is much deeper than this. We have people who are ‘hidden’ as they are not seen on the streets or in temporary accommodation, so they do not get counted.
Monday starts Homelessness Awareness Week and this year’s theme is to #StartTheConvo which aims to get people talking about the stigma attached to homelessness. Our members are holding a range of activities leading up to the week and during the week, including walking in different locations, a five-a-side soccer tournament, coffee mornings, focus group discussions, a webinar to explore how we can work together and a Come Dine with Me. One thing all these events have in common is that they are bringing people together to tackle difficult conversations in an engaging way.
We have put together a document to showcase how members are starting the conversation to create awareness about homelessness and how you can join in to show your support. The document can be accessed using: This link.
You can hold your own event that will encourage discussion around one of the key themes: Homelessness Is Never A Choice, Homelessness & Mental Health, Hidden Homelessness and Hostels are not homes. Why not take a browse through the document to get inspiration from what our members are doing or get innovative and host your own idea to explore one of the key themes? Do let us know what you have planned and make sure you tag us in any social media posts. Check out our toolkit for more ideas from this link.