Focus Ireland has teamed up with the Body & Soul music festival to launch a new campaign to #EndYouthHomelessness. The housing crisis is having a terrible impact on young people in Ireland and we are calling on the Government to develop a Youth Homelessness Strategy in order to address it. In this blog post, Emma Allen talks about the face of youth homelessness, Focus Ireland’s plans for Body & Soul and the potential in people power.
Let’s talk about youth homelessness.
Let’s talk about young people sleeping on friends’ couches, living in cramped and overpriced rental accommodation, moving back in with family for those who can, or leaving the country because housing isn’t affordable.
Let’s talk about how greater security when renting could open up a whole new world of possibility for young people when it comes to planning their future. Let’s talk about why so many young State Care leavers end up homeless. Let’s talk about why young LGBTQI+ people are at a higher risk of homelessness across the world. Let’s talk about the lack of dedicated youth supports for young people who do face homelessness.
Now, let’s talk about how we can take action together to make things better.
Focus Ireland has teamed up with the Body & Soul music festival as part of our new campaign to#EndYouthHomelessness. This is the 10th anniversary of the festival and we see it as a huge opportunity for us all to make a difference. Body & Soul is a place to spark debate, make connections and channel energy. It’s a place where we see the movement to #EndYouthHomelessness begin.
The face of homelessness in Ireland is changing. Festival goers and young people know all too well the realities of the housing crisis. Co-living is already happening for many of us, and it’s not working.
How are we going to make this change happen? Focus Ireland has long recognised the distinct vulnerabilities of young people and their housing needs. Our youth services directly support young people leaving State care or who are currently living in the most vulnerable situations in emergency accommodation. Our research and policy work helps to inform our services and prevent young people from becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness. All of our publications on youth homelessness are available here.
But we can do more. Focus Ireland is launching an #EndYouthHomelessness petition at Body & Soul to call on Government to introduce a youth homelessness strategy. The petition will be delivered to Dáil Eireann in September and we need to show the Government that the people of Ireland care about our young people.
We need you to get behind the petition, sign and share it so that our Government know we are demanding action.
Change can and will happen, but it’s up to us to get things moving.
If you are going to Body & Soul, come and visit us in the Focus Ireland Home in the woodlands. We’ve created a gorgeous space for thought, reflection, mobilisation, and fun! We’ll have a series of Activist Talks led by a brilliant line-up including Emmet Kirwan, Una Mullally, Colm O’Gorman, Síona Cahill, Lynn Ruane among others. Spoken-word artist Stephen James Smith has written a special piece for the campaign which he will perform on the main stage at Body & Soul over the course of the weekend. We can’t wait for you to hear it.
The housing crisis affects us all, and young people are bearing the brunt of it. Young people should be facing decisions about study, travel, work, pals, family, and not about where they are going to sleep at night.
We know change can happen when people come together to make things right. We have seen momentous societal change driven by a generation that dares to demand for better. With youth homelessness increasing 100 per cent in the past 4 years, it’s not working the way it is. Together we can do so much better, will you be part of it?
How you can help
- Sign the Petition to #EndYouthHomelessness which we will deliver to Government in September. We want it to be a huge show of force so please sign and share with everyone you know! Sign the petition here.
- Sign up to our #endyouthhomelessness newsletter where we will keep you posted on all the latest updates on the campaign.
- Use the hashtag #EndYouthHomelessness on your social media. Let’s keep the conversation going.
To find out more about this campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Body & Soul takes place from June 21st to 23rd. For more information on the Festival and to book tickets visit their website.
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