With a rising number of homeless on the streets of Northern Ireland, The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP NI) staged a Sleep Out at Queen’s University, Belfast on 20 April, to raise awareness of this shocking occurrence.
Claire Morgan, Youth Development Officer for SVP NI, commented: “This Sleep Out was organised by our very active group in Queen’s, the St Anthony’s Conference, which is based in the Chaplaincy at the University.
“The overall homeless problem in Northern Ireland has risen dramatically over the years and more sad deaths of homeless people on our streets are being reported than ever before. We have been working hard locally to support the most vulnerable in our community and this is another way in which we are hoping to engage people to make a difference.
“It is our experience in SVP that #homelessnothopeless is the case and we want to be able to help as many homeless people as possible. Although SVP is the largest charity in Northern Ireland, it is entirely volunteer-led. Through our 181 groups (Conferences) across Northern Ireland we work with those in need, irrespective of creed, ethnic or social backgrounds, health, gender or political opinions. We work with families and individuals to help them maximise opportunities to realise their full potential. Poverty does not discriminate nor do we.”
The Sleep Out took place on Wednesday 20 April from 9pm to 7am on Thursday 21 April. Claire continued: “All support was hugely appreciated”
For further information on SVP and its work in Northern Ireland, please visit www.svp-ni.co.uk or call 02890 351561.