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Vital to highlight homeless issue

Published 11/04/2016

AS someone who lived in London and volunteered at weekends to help people less fortunate than myself, such as those sleeping rough on the Underground, I am touched that one of our councillors on Newry Mourne and Down Council is taking the issue of homelessness seriously.

It is gratifying that independent councillor Patrick Clarke clearly felt it important enough to have the issue of homelessness debated at Newry Mourne and Down District Council, as opposed to the usual other daily politics of Northern Ireland.

In London many people die every day, largely unreported or noticed by society, because being homeless is sadly just a grim reality in a major city.

Many of the people I met were highly intelligent but had encountered mental health issues, alcohol, gambling or drug problems, relationship break-ups or abuse - the list goes on.

There could come a time in anyone's life when things go out of a person's control.

Councillor Clarke deserves praise for publicly asking our soon-to-be-elected MLAs on the Hill at Stormont about tackling homelessness in Northern Ireland and putting in place proper mechanisms to prevent any more people either sleeping rough (or, worse, dying) on our streets.

PETER LYONS

Dundrum, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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