Belfast Telegraph

Youth group sleep rough on city streets in bid to highlight plight of capital's homeless problem

By Steven Alexander

The issue of homelessness has never been higher on Belfast's agenda - and now a group of 24 young people want to emphasise the problem.

Five people have died on the city's streets already this year, prompting calls for the authorities to do more to combat the problem.

The young people are taking part in a three-day sofa and street challenge organised by Springboard Opportunities United Youth Pilot in partnership with Homeless Aware.

Running until tomorrow, it aims to highlight the issues around "hidden" homelessness as well as life living on Belfast's city streets.

The participants of Gener8 are experiencing real life homeless situations from finding a friend's sofa to sleep on, to sleeping rough on the streets, and queuing for food, shelter and showers at hostels.

On the final day tomorrow, three participants will be joined by their Gener8 friends for a group sleep out at Custom House Square. Paul McCusker, Founder of Homeless Aware, said: "Anything we can do to help raise the plight of this community is essential."

Follow the challenge on Facebook, twitter and #homelesschallenge.

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