On 11th March, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey met with CRISPP representatives and also visited Simon Community’s Belfast Foyer. On that day, the Dept. for Communities tweeted that “her focus is on the most vulnerable as well as tackling objective need so protecting the Supporting People budget will be a priority”.
Last week, CRISPP co-chairs Patrick Thompson (NIFHA) and Kevin Wright (First Housing) followed up with a letter to Last week, CRISPP co-chairs Patrick Thompson (NIFHA) and Kevin Wright (First Housing) followed up with a letter to the Communities and Finance Ministers, reminding them that the Supporting People programme urgently needs more funding.
The letter built on points raised during the meeting and in our ongoing #KeepSP_NI campaign, including:
- SP services help around 20,000 people, and save the state money by doing so
- Chronic underfunding has already led to loss of staff and services and now threatens the wellbeing of many vulnerable people.
- To maximise quality of life, prevent more serious social problems and make significant preventative public finance savings, CRISPP asks for additional funding to 1) maintain existing services 2) address unmet need, and 3) 3) specifically allocate capital funding to address the shortfall in supported living homes.