Making sure that we can prevent homelessness before it happens is one of the most effective ways we can tackle this crisis.
When we talk about ‘prevention’ we mean working with young people, adults and families who are facing homelessness to ensure they keep their homes. In recent times most people are becoming homeless for primarily economic reasons (not enough money to afford secure accommodation) but there are certain situations where the risk is higher.
Such as/in particular
––Growing up in care
––Leaving hospital/psychiatric care
–– Being discriminated against in the housing market
–– Living in unsafe, overcrowded conditions or emergency accommodation
We try to reach people who are facing these situations early to ensure they have our support to keep the home they have. The first port of call for people facing homelessness is often our Advice and Information team, and to meet growing demand we have set up a number of these teams in towns and cities around the country. We know from our customers’ experiences that the right information at the right time can help prevent homelessness.
Young people leaving care can find it very difficult to find and keep a home of their own and this can put them at risk of homelessness. At Focus Ireland we have worked particularly closely with young people leaving care, providing residential care, education and employment and family mediation support. We know that our work helps to prevent young people who grew up in care from becoming homeless. We will continue to do more in this area using the knowledge and expertise we have developed through our work with young people.
Other groups that we know we can support to stay in their homes include people and families who are struggling to pay their rent or find a more affordable home. We will continue to do further work with people in emergency accommodation and also with individuals and families who are living below the radar in ‘unseen’ spaces – i.e. in inadequate, overcrowded, or unsafe conditions as well as people who may experience discrimination in the housing market.