News

Fourth homeless person dies in Belfast in as many weeks

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Belfast's High Street (Pic Google)
Belfast's High Street (Pic Google)

A fourth homeless person has died in Belfast in as many weeks.

The man, in his 40s, was found dead in a shop front last night.

An ambulance crew soon arrived at the scene but the man had already passed away.

Sandra Moore, director of the homeless outreach charity, The Welcome Organisation, said: "There is very good inter-agency working between the statutory agencies and most of the voluntary sector.

"Our outreach is on the street 17 hours a day and what would help would be co-ordination of the other groups that are out there.

"My intelligence would tell me there are more volunteer groups on the street doing uncoordinated work than there are rough sleepers.

"That's the distinction we have to make the difference between people who are homeless but are in temporary accommodation and those who are rough sleepers."

Ms Moore added: "While this person has been labelled homeless he actually wasn't roofless, like some of the others who passed over in the last month he did have a bed, somewhere to go at night.

"I don't know the cause of death in this instance, but I do know there were significant underlying health issues.

"So many of the people who come to us do have a complex range of issues and as in this case there was an intensive package of support available to this gentleman."