Approaching Christmas we immediately think of all those vulnerable people who might not have the opportunity to celebrate this season of goodwill.

In fact they are likely to be the recipients of goodwill shown by other people.

Among these are the homeless in Fermanagh who have no permanent home as a result of numerous reasons.

A homeless person does not mean someone lying on cardboard in a shop doorway or in some sheltered place outdoors. There can be many reasons but in all cases, there is a common factor; it was not a choice that they made to become homeless.

For those generous with charity giving, helping with food banks and day centres is a worthwhile cause because many of these homeless people will attend these at least once each week if not daily.

For example the Inside Out Community Storehouse in Enniskillen has been running support services for people but one volunteer is shocked at the lack of support from agencies to find emergency accommodation.

It appears there is a severe lack of emergency accommodation in Enniskillen in particular and in Fermanagh in general. If there is any, it is unlikely to meet the demands of the 374 people who are described as homeless in the county.

Volunteer, Dave Watt from the Lakes Vineyard Church, says it is more difficult to find the many young people known as “sofa surfers” described as homeless than those who are sleeping rough on the streets.

With nowhere for them to go locally, they are referred to Derry or Belfast.

“For someone who is a Fermanagh native and has never lived in a big city, never mind homelessnes in a big city, that is just another step towards hopelessness. We need something here, “ said Dave.

He points to the youth hostel at the Clinton Centre as a perfect location which should be considered for emergency accommodation.

Homelessness and isolation are issues which are quite rightly raised at Christmas. But if there is any compassion in our community at all, we should demand and achieve an end to such circumstances arising.