Urgent need to tackle Derry City Homelessness
Sinn Féin Councillor Billy Page has said that unless the homeless situation is addressed in Derry it is only a matter of time before we have a tragedy similar to that, which occurred in Coleraine.
Councillor Page said:
"The tragedy in Coleraine where a young woman lost her legs from hypothermia due to sleeping on the street could happen at any time in this city."
"Every night homeless people are sleeping under the lower deck of Craigavon Bridge or in cardboard boxes along Foyle Street".
"A lot of these people suffer from mental health problems or alcoholic dependency and have been excluded by the statutory agencies".
"These people are very vulnerable and unless action is taken immediately then the tragedy that occurred in Coleraine will be repeated in Derry. We cannot allow them to be discarded by society and literally tossed onto the street because they have an illness".
"While the charitable nature of the people of Derry to problems abroad is renown it seems that we are content to ignore similar problems in our own city".
"To address this problem we will need a co-ordinated approach from all the statutory groups including GP's, the Housing Executive, Housing Associations and the DHSS. We need to solve this problem immediately before the area from Foyleside to Craigavon Bridge becomes Derry's cardboard city". ENDS