Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has commended the good work of the Simon Community in supporting those who find themselves homeless.
The East Derry MLA said:
“Last week I met with the Team Leader of Coleraine Simon Community, Anthony McPeake and he described how the 15 bedroom facility in the Coleraine is almost permanently at full capacity.
“Last year 18,628 people presented as homeless to the Housing Executive across the north. Most recent statistics for Causeway Coast & Glens council area for 2014/2015 showed 1124 presented as homeless.
“Mr McPeake outlined the difficultly though in determining true levels of homelessness, as there is a hidden statistic in those who are homeless but can usually find a bed with friends or acquaintances, what is known as sofa-surfing.
“There are many reasons why people find themselves homeless and individuals often have other issues such as addiction or mental health issues that require specific support. This can be particularly challenge for the Simon Community support workers and they must be commended for the important service they provide.