Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update 07 MAY 2020 

Focus Ireland’s Services & Housing Support: 

All Focus Ireland services are currently operating with precautionary measures in place to help protect our staff and the people we support. These measures include limiting face-to-face contact with vulnerable customers/tenants, while continuing to ensure they get full support. 

All forms of support services are moving to provide support and social contact remotely, either through phone contact or a variety of web-based technologies. Focus Ireland produced a guidance document as part of the Irish Housing First Platform for providing support to tenants online and on telephone. This is available here.

Focus Ireland is monitoring the Covid-19 situation very closely and following the public health advice issued by the HSE and the Government. 

Our management team is meeting daily to review the situation and keeping in regular contact with the HSE, Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Tusla, local authorities, and all other relevant state bodies and partner organisations. 

What additional measures has Focus Ireland put in place to manage the risk of Covid-19? 

People who are homeless are at additional risk of contracting illness and infections because of their circumstances. Some people homeless may also have long-term health issues, which may put them at additional risk.

It’s almost impossible for people to self-isolate in hostels, hubs or hotels. Focus Ireland, in partnership with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), has set aside a number of housing units in case people that we support are advised that they need to self-isolate.

At our Coffee Shop in Temple Bar, we have moved to providing take-away food only for those who need it. This is a precautionary measure to help protect our staff and customers during this difficult time.

Our Family Centre in Mountjoy Square is no longer providing a take-away service as the DRHE has now arranged for emergency accommodation providers to supply meals directly to families or for families to have access to cooking facilities in their accommodation. We are continuing to work with families all over Dublin and the surrounding counties to ensure they get the support they need to help them get through this difficult time. We are now delivering food and activity packs to families and children in emergency homeless accommodation who may be struggling to go to the shops, who may be self-isolating, or may not be in receipt of any income. As well as this ongoing support, our Family Homeless Action Team in Dublin, in partnership with the DRHE, is continuing to move families out of homelessness every day and in March, we helped move 80 families with 150 children out of emergency accommodation into homes.

Focus Ireland are continuing to help support families and individuals to move into homes, and, in March alone, we helped support 550 people across the country to secure a home who were previously homeless or at risk. This total is made up of 172 households (220 adults and 332 children). This great work was achieved in partnership with the State and Local Authorities.

Focus Ireland Staff are continuing to provide a vital Advice and Information service across Ireland.


Supporting Focus Ireland during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic:

Please note that our head office is closed currently due to the latest Government directive and our supporter care team is working from home.

If you have donated online, an acknowledgement of your donation will be sent to email addresses where provided. If you are waiting to receive an email acknowledgement, please check your spam in the first instance.

Please bear with us as we cannot currently send postal receipts, we will resume sending these when we are able to access our office facilities.

For other enquiries relating to fundraising or donations please contact or call 01-881 5900 and we will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

What is Covid-19 (Coronavirus)? 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. 

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Covid-19 to appear. 

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are: 

Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains. 

If you have any of the most common symptoms and have been to a place where there is spread of coronavirus, read this advice. 

A few people will get worse symptoms and need medical attention. Doctors think that people aged over 65 and people who are vulnerable like those experiencing homelessness or anyone living with an underlying long-term health condition is more likely to get worse symptoms. 

If you have returned from a country or region with spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) visit the HSE’s website for advice- click here. 

How coronavirus is spread? 

Coronavirus is likely spread in sneeze or cough droplets. 

You could get the virus if you: 

  • come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing 
  • touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on 

As it’s a new illness, it is not known how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Spread is most likely from those who have symptoms. 

The virus may only survive a few hours if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant. 

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. 


What should I do if I’m feeling unwell? 

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, phone your GP or local emergency department (ED) without delay. 

Do not go to your GP or ED. Phone them first. Tell them about your symptoms. Give them the details about your situation. Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating.