Some people and families who become homeless can find their own route out, but many others require support in finding accommodation and support in holding on to their new home. Some need this support for only a few months, others might need it for the rest of their lives.
The longer a person is homeless, the worse their personal problems can get – particularly mental or physical health problems or substance abuse. The sooner we can find a secure home for anyone facing homelessness, the better chance they have to reduce the damage caused by homelessness. We know that the right type of support to stay in your home gives you the best chance of staying out of
homelessness for good.
At Focus Ireland we have a number of teams who work closely with people who need more help to keep their homes. Amongst these are our families team in Dublin and our teams working with young people who grew up in care. All of these teams provide ongoing ‘floating’ support to help people to keep their homes.
But we can’t achieve this if the homes simply aren’t available, which is why we will continue to call on the government to build more social homes. We will also play our own part in ensuring there are more homes for people who need them by owning and managing a number of homes for people who need extra support. We will expand Focus Housing Association to meet this demand and double the number of these homes within the next five years.
We believe the quality of the work undertaken in this area is without equal and we will continue to invest heavily here over the coming years.
The concept of Housing First has been well proven in recent years both worldwide and here in Ireland by ourselves and our partners in this project, the Peter McVerry Trust. It has clearly been seen that for those who have a long experience of sleeping on the street, the best chance of bringing about sustainable positive change in their lives is to first provide a home and then the necessary supports to make it work. We will be further proving and expanding this concept.