Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

As fourth Belfast homeless man dies 20,000 call on council to open empty buildings

A demonstration will be held on Friday in the wake of four deaths in recent weeks

Published 25/02/2016

Charities have called for action to address the growing problem of homelessness
Charities have called for action to address the growing problem of homelessness
Emergency services attend the scene on High Street in Belfast after a homeless man was found dead last night

A petition is set to be handed in to Belfast Council calling for empty buildings in the city to be opened up for homeless people.

Volunteers are calling for action following the death of four homeless people in the past three weeks.

Very sad to hear that a man died on the street in Belfast last night.Importantwe discuss this at today's Executive in Fermanagh. #concerned

— Martin McGuinness(@M_McGuinness_SF) February 25, 2016

Last night a man aged in his 40s was found dead in the High Street area.

Read more:

Fourth homeless man dies on Belfast streets  

A post-mortem examination will take place to determine the cause of death.

However, early indications suggest the death is not suspicious.

In the wake of the recent deaths hundreds of people attended a rally at Belfast City Hall to demand action for the homeless.

The petition from Amethyst Outreach group has attracted more than 20,000 signatures.

On Friday February 26 at 9am a demonstration will be held calling for Belfast Council to take action.

Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Protest held at the front of Belfast City hall after a homeless man died while sleeping rough in the city centre. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Donegall Place in Belfast

The petition wording asks for Belfast Council to: “Follow the lead of Manchester and open up empty buildings for homeless people this winter.”

This event starts at 8.30am at the front of the city hall and a 9am the petition will be handed in.

Danielle Lavery from Amethyst said the petition could be used for those on the streets.

She told the BBC Stephen Nolan show: "They have multiple buildings in the town that are lying derelict and empty that could be put to good use for these guys on the street."

She continued: "I see the homeless on a Tuesday night, there has been many a night I've sat on the phone trying to get these guys in and they don't feel safe, and I've phoned from hostel to hostel to try and get them in and there is none there.

"The Executive says there are only six homeless on our street? Well four have died in the last month so that leaves two, funny on Tuesday night I fed 14."

Petition starter Kieran McCavana said: "I cannot imagine sleeping rough in driving, biting winds, snow, ice and winter rain."“It’s inhumane. It’s also inexcusable when we have so many empty buildings."

From the web

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph