Northern Ireland

Belfast: Homeless man dies in city centre

Paramedics and police were called to the scene in High Street Image copyright Alan Lewis-Photopress Belfast
Image caption The man died in front of a shop in High Street on Wednesday night

A homeless man has died in Belfast city centre.

He was found at a shop front on High Street on Wednesday evening.

It is believed he was aged in his 40s. Paramedics and police were called to the scene.

Sandra Moore, director of the Welcome Organisation which works with homeless people in Belfast, has called for greater co-ordination between homeless charities.

"There is very good inter-agency working between the statutory agencies and most of the voluntary sector," she said.

"Our outreach is on the street 17 hours a day and what would help would be co-ordination of the other groups that are out there.

"My intelligence would tell me there are more volunteer groups on the street doing uncoordinated work than there are rough sleepers. That's the distinction we have to make, the difference between people who are homeless but are in temporary accommodation and those who are rough sleepers."

Ms Moore said "an intensive package of support" had been available to the man who was found dead on Wednesday evening.

"We did know this gentleman and gentleman is the proper word in this case," she said.

"While this person has been labelled homeless he actually wasn't roofless, like some of the others who passed over in the last month he did have a bed, somewhere to go at night.

"I don't know the cause of death in this instance, but I do know there were significant underlying health issues.

"So many of the people who come to us do have a complex range of issues and as in this case there was an intensive package of support available to this gentleman."

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