Homelessness Awareness Week 2021
Monday 6 December marks the beginning of Homelessness Awareness Week in Northern Ireland.
The theme of the week this year is ‘Start the Conversation.’
Events are taking place across the region to cast a spotlight on the significant number of people in our society experiencing homelessness.
Homeless Connect is the representative body of the homelessness sector in Northern Ireland and is organising the week. 
Nicola McCrudden, Chief Executive of Homeless Connect said, “We need to start a conversation in homes, workplaces and schools about what it means to be homeless, the impact it has on lives, and what we can do to change things for the better.”
Last year around 16,000 households sought assistance from the Housing Executive because of homelessness.
In August this year, there were 3400 households in temporary accommodation – a 65 per cent increase since January 2019. Meanwhile the social housing waiting list continues to grow year on year, with around 45,000 households currently waiting for a home.
While single men make up the largest single category of people experiencing homelessness, just under one third are families. Last year 6500 children were recorded as homeless by the Housing Executive with around 3600 living in temporary accommodation. Of those children, 2466 were aged nine and under.
Ms McCrudden continued “People experiencing homelessness often say they feel stigmatised, somehow seen as bringing it upon themselves. Yet any one of us could find ourselves facing homelessness. Missed mortgage payments, relationship breakdown, poor health or being asked to leave by a landlord – there are so many reasons why people find themselves without a home.”
During Homelessness Awareness Week I encourage you to talk to your friends, family and colleagues about what we can do together to end homelessness. Take the opportunity to join the conversation and get informed about homelessness and what we can do to change things for the better.”
Homelessness Awareness Week runs from 6 – 12 December. Full details of the events can be found here.
Notes to editors
 Homeless Connect’ is the working name of ‘Council for the Homeless (Northern Ireland)’ registered charity in Northern Ireland 103325. Homeless Connect (previously known as Council for the Homeless NI) has been working to prevent and alleviate homelessness in Northern Ireland since 1983. As a membership body, we represent organisations working with people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless and provide direct support to service users through our projects. You can read more about our work at our website, www.homelessconnect.org.
 Department for Communities, “NI Housing Bulletin April – June 2021”, 9 September 2021, https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/system/files/publications/communities/ni-housing-bulletin-apr-jun21-tables.ods table 2.2
 Department for Communities, “Northern Ireland Homelessness Bulletin January – June 2021”, 16 September 2021, https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/system/files/publications/communities/ni-homelessness-bulletin-jan-jun-2021-tables.ods table 3.5
 AQW 21882/17-22– Andy Allen UUP, “To ask the Minister for Communities to detail the total number of applicants on the housing waiting list, broken down by constituency”
 Northern Ireland Homelessness Bulletin, https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/system/files/publications/communities/ni-homelessness-bulletin-jan-jun-2021-tables.ods tables 2.7, 3.3 and 3.4.