East Belfast MLA Michael Copeland has described an evening spent with those trying to bring help to homeless people on the streets of Belfast as harrowing, moving and inspiring.
Michael said: “I spent from 9pm on Saturday to the early hours of Sunday morning in the company of people from the Welcome Organisation, Salvation Army and SOS Bus NI.”
“I was moved by the compassion of the workers in these organisations. In contrast to this, I was also horrified by what I heard about the reaction of some members of society to the homeless and the way in which they treated them. We need to value all members of society and that includes the homeless.”
“There are a whole host of reasons why people find themselves in this position. As charities have stated before ‘The average person is only three pay cheques away from becoming homeless’
“After spending Saturday night on the streets, I have been deeply moved by what I saw and the people I met.”
“The only source of comfort that many of Belfast`s homeless have are the support of organisations such as the Welcome Organisation, the Salvation Army, SOS Bus NI and others. I would encourage everyone to support them in their work whether that is by donation or volunteering.”