Homeless Awareness Week in Belfast

Panel discussion at St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar school in Belfast  during Homeless Awareness week

Following the ERI December Board meeting in Dublin, several ERI Team and Board members joined Cormac McArt (ERI Board member and Director of the Westcourt Centre) to travel to Belfast to attend a number of events scheduled for Homeless Awareness week.
The visit enabled connection with our grassroots partners and the opportunity to learn more about the problem of homelessness – an issue that has featured regularly in our advocacy work in Geneva.
During the visit the ‘Still Somebody’ photography display organised by the Westcourt Centre was revisited, and the group attended a panel discussion hosted by St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School along with other guests and sixty or more students, including members of the school Social Justice Advocacy group.
The group also attended an event marking the 40th anniversary of the founding of Homeless Connect, a partner organisation with the Westcourt Centre, and enjoyed a pizza meal and participation in the regular quiz night at a hostel for homeless men.
A highlight of the visit was to attend an assembly at another Edmund Rice school, John Paul II Primary school, where students through song, dance role plays and videos highlighted the issue of homelessness, an issue that directly affected some of them who lived in this one of the more deprived areas of Belfast.  
Finally the group returned to St Mary’s Grammar School to enjoy a Christmas lunch hosted by the school for some of the residents from a number of local hostels for the homeless.
A most enjoyable and enriching experience.

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