On 3rd September, a group of people currently living in homeless hostels attended a residential in Magherafelt, organised by the joint PPR and Simon Community NI initiative.
The group examined research findings carried out by participants living in SCNI hostels, which capture the experiences of over 100 homeless people throughout Northern Ireland, against the international human rights obligations of government and service delivery agencies.
Statistics from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, which has statutory responsibility for responding to homelessness, show that despite steadily increasing financial investment in services throughout the past decade there has been no significant or lasting decline in the number of people affected by homelessness.
Following on from 12 months of activity to identify and measure key human rights concerns impacting on their daily lives, each resident brought their own experience to bear on plans to campaign for change. They will now develop human rights indicators and benchmarks to monitor government activity and impact of SCNI services.
Adam, a resident who participated in the residential, said: “It’s given me a good insight into the number of people in housing need; the homeless situation in Northern Ireland is diabolical. I know what it’s like to sleep on the streets and have spent a long time in hostels, now I know more about what still needs to be done.
Later in the week, on 6th September, a member of the group met with and provided testimony and evidence on the experience of the homeless to Ms Raquel Rolnik, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing during her official visit to the United Kingdom.
To find out more, please contact Project Worker Michael Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 9031 3315.