Thursday, 25 February 2016


Belfast City centre has seen the death of four homeless people in a little over a month now. Official figures of the number of people sleeping rough varies between the Housing Executive and volunteers from local homeless charities.

Tomorrow, a petition by Amethyst Outreach will be handed in to Belfast City Council asking them to open up empty building for the homeless in Belfast. It requires 2000. As the moment, it has just over 1500. Please sign and share the petition: no more death on our streets.


I used to live in seventy-three:  it’s bricked up now though
in the way of anonymity that these terraces succumb to.

When a house becomes a home, it’s cause to celebrate
with the smiling new residents resplendent in their snug,
regardless of responsibility, mortgage, well-being, risk.

But when a home becomes a house, there’s no ceremony,
only the handymen busy with their mortar and chipboard
plugging tell-tale holes of dead doors and powerless sockets,
concreting futures in, the bank felt through each window,
everyone peeking through your letterbox, the locks a reminder
that there really is nowhere left to run.

Nothing left to hold these families, now redundant shells,
just the neglect that weeds enjoy and graffitied thresholds
bearing down on streets populised by the unwanted nomadic
that know of no place to rest from their downfall.

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