Press Release 08.03.2016 | Depaulcharity

Press Release 08.03.2016 | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Press Release 08.03.2016

March 8th, 2016





Homeless charity Depaul reveals that the extent of female homelessness in Northern Ireland may be underestimated

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, homeless charity Depaul highlights the problem of female homelessness in Northern Ireland, revealing that the extent of female homelessness may be underestimated.

Ms. Kerry Anthony MBE, CEO of Depaul, comments: “The level of homelessness among women is sometimes underestimated by the general public, as the pattern of rough sleeping is different for women than it is for men. Women who are homeless often go to great lengths to be out of public view to improve their safety, whereas male rough sleepers are more visible in public places.

Official statistics show that single females comprise 18% of all those who present as homeless in Northern Ireland, compared to single males, who constitute 36% of homeless presenters. While these figures position female homelessness at a level of lesser severity, Depaul’s experience shows that women are likely to be disproportionately affected by ‘family homelessness’. As almost 6,200 families presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 2014-15, comprising 31% of all presenting households, it is probable that female homelessness is more problematic than appearances initially indicate.[i]

Furthermore, official statistics do not reveal the scale of women’s ‘hidden homelessness’. Women sometimes ‘sofa surf’, squat, stay in abusive relationships, or remain in insecure housing arrangements, rather than sleep rough or come forward to access services; for a variety of different reasons including fear of sleeping on the streets, fear of losing their children, the stigma of homelessness, and incapacitating trauma from a history of violence or abuse.

At Depaul we believe that everyone deserves a place to call home and a stake in their community. On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women who have made it through and out of homelessness. We celebrate the potential of the hundreds of women currently using homeless services in Northern Ireland. We draw attention to female homelessness as an issue. And we call upon the Government to deliver robust, housing-led solutions to protect women from the devastation of homelessness.” 

Kerry Anthony MBE, CEO of Depaul, is available for interviews on request.


For further information contact:

Kristina Moody

Fundraising & Media Coordinator

00 353 1 453 7111

00 353 86 383 2198

Mairead Murphy

Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

00 353 1 453 7111

00 353 86 781 3139

Notes to Editor:

About Depaul:

  • Depaul is a leading provider of services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • In 2014 we provided 423 beds per night and 3,325 people accessed our services.
  • Depaul was founded in Dublin in 2002 and Belfast in 2005. We now manage 23 specialised accommodation and community outreach services across Dublin, Belfast, Dungannon, L/Derry, Armagh, Newry and Mourne.

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[i] Council for the Homeless NI Annual Homelessness Statistics 2014-15:


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