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Maskey calls for debate on Homeless Provision

8 March, 2004

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has said that the death of a man in the Lee Hesita Hostel in Brunswick Street last week was a 'tragedy for the man's family'. Mr Maskey also called for a debate on the provision of proper accommodation for homeless people in the city.

Mr Maskey said;

"During my time as Mayor of Belfast I prioritised the issue of homelessness in the city. I visited many of the hostels and other facilities in the city dealing with homeless people and indeed I visited the Brunswick Street Hostel one morning in the early hours. It was obvious the pressure under which the staff there were trying to operate.

"Talking to people involved in the sector there is clearly a crisis of funding and therefore of proper provision for homeless people in the city.

"The death of a man last week in the Lee Hestia hostel is obviously a tragedy for his family and friends. I hope however that it can provoke a debate on how best we provide the necessary care for homeless people, many of whom are extremely vulnerable.

"I have written to the Social Development Minister seeking a meeting to discuss how best we can learn the lessons of last weeks tragic events." ENDS

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