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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

On World Homeless Day, let us know what home means to you.

On the 10th of October 2014 people around the world mark World Homeless Day. Housing Rights Service believes everyone should have a home. We have been working for 50 years to help ensure that local people have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. 

The importance of having a home

Having a home is critical to the well being of individuals and families, and also to the wider community in which we all live.

Your home is your foundation. It's your place in the world. It's somewhere for you and your family; somewhere you can change and develop and grow. At a more basic level, just having an address means you can access local schools, work opportunities, healthcare professionals and support networks to help you cope with life's struggles. Having a home helps people to realise their potential and make a contribution to society.

“I have a home where I can have my children with me, where I can be a proper daddy, even if it is only for one or two nights a week.”  - HRS client

On the other hand, not having a home can destroy your physical and mental health.  It will disrupt your education. Being homeless will limit your ability to work or find a job and could force you to do things you'd never otherwise consider. In the most severe cases, people who become homeless are excluded from society and community life and left to cope on the fringes.

“I am really happy – getting a house has changed my life completely. Because I have a safe home I have been able to make so many positive changes, life is good" - HRS client

Homelessness in Northern Ireland

In a three month period, from January to March 2014, 4,740 households asked the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for help because they were homeless. This was an increase of 2% from the previous quarter.

From April 2013 to March 2014, Housing Rights Service provided advice and assistance to 7,770 people throughout Northern Ireland who were homeless or experiencing serious housing problems.

Contrary to popular belief, the main reasons for a person from Northern Ireland finding themselves homeless are

  • being asked to leave your home by parents, relatives or friends
  • relationship breakdown, including domestic violence

The advice and assistance we provide can help individuals and families keep their home so they never become homeless. 

Help Housing Rights Service continue for the next 50 years

We've been tackling homelessness and housing problems on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland since 1964.  By making a one off donation or  becoming a friend you can make sure we can continue to help people.  You can help us:

  • Provide advice and representation to people who are homeless or having serious housing problems
  • Make politicians and decision makers pay attention to the housing problems of people in Northern Ireland
  • Advocate for changes to housing policy, legislation and practice.

You can also show your support for a Northern Ireland when everyone has a home by signing up to our vision.

What does home mean to you?

Home can mean different things to different people. But the unifying themes which crop up when we ask people to reflect on what home means to them are

  • happiness
  • security
  • comfort
  • love
  • family

What does home mean to you? Let us know in the comments box below.

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