Responding with Respect, Dignity and Compassion
Homeplus NI was established in 2000 in response to the growing numbers of vulnerable people sleeping rough on the streets of Belfast.
Having identified a lack in services to provide immediate accommodation and other practical support, Homeplus led the way in setting up a street outreach service providing hot food, warm clothes, sleeping bags and a listening ear to those experiencing homelessness. The service has since expanded and currently operates 365 days a year.
Adapting to Evolving Need
Quick to recognise the plight of migrant workers to NI who, with the deepening economic crisis, were now facing destitution, Homeplus responded with the opening of a drop in centre in 2006.
In 2011 a new priority group emerged – that of refugees and asylum seekers and again Homeplus adapted to offer its services to this growing number of vulnerable people.
Cultural Harmony, Diversity & Celebration
Homeplus engages with up to 500 marginalised and vulnerable people each year and as many as 50 people per day attend the centre.
Service users can access food and clothing parcels, avail of a hot meal, recreational area, English language classes, IT suite, health screening, befriending and advice services. Service users are encouraged to get involved volunteering their skills to assist others, cooking and working in the community allotment.
Halal meals are also offered twice weekly and the centre provides a space for observing religious, traditional and cultural events such as Eid, Ramadan and Christmas.
Person Centred and Holistic Care
Empowering & Enabling
More recently Homeplus opened a women’s centre – SAWA. It is very much designed, delivered and led by service users. It operates two days per week providing up to 40 refugee women and female asylum seekers a safe place to avail of childcare, share skills & experience and be themselves in an unfamiliar world.
Homeplus Advice Service currently acts as a first stop shop for many refugees and asylum seekers.
Over 150 individuals benefit from confidential information and advice to assist them navigate public services such as legal, healthcare, education, benefits, housing and access other charitable support organisations annually. Given that many of these individuals are representing families, the service provided by Homeplus NI has a positive impact on up to 600 people annually.