FOCUS IRELAND CALLS FOR MORE ACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS AS NEW FIGURES REPORT 9,968 PEOPLE HOMELESS - (THIS IS THE HIGHEST EVER NUMBER)
Meanwhile – New Focus Ireland figures reveal that shockingly one child became homeless every 4 hours in Dublin alone last month
Focus Ireland has called for more urgency by the Government to tackle the homelessness crisis as new figures published today reveal that 9,968 homeless in Ireland in November.
This is an increase of 244 people on the figure for October of this year (9,724) as the crisis deepens with less than a week left until Christmas.
Focus Ireland said that while much good work is being done the latest figures shows the Government has still failed to take a number of vital decisions required to ease the crisis.
The new figures from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government reveal that 3,811 of the total number homeless are children (in 1,728 families).
Meanwhile, Focus Ireland also issued new figures today which show that shockingly one child became homeless every 4 hours last month in the capital city. The Focus Ireland figures show 96 families with 184 children became newly homeless in Dublin in November.
There is real danger that the people get lost behind the numbers. Christmas is a time for us all to reflect on our lives and our society, and I hope that everyone across Ireland, as they enjoy their family and home this Christmas will give some thought to the 4,000 children who do not have a home, and join us in Focus Ireland in new year resolution that we must do so much better in 2019.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “There is some positive news as Focus Ireland has managed to help nearly 400 families to secure a home and leave homeless behind this year. This has been achieved by the combined hard work of staff in Focus Ireland in partnership with the State and through the great support of our donors and supporters. We also now provide 1,200 homes across the country. This work shows it is possible to end homelessness but much more needs to be done next year.”
Mr Dennigan added: “However, it is totally unacceptable that at the same time one child became homeless every 4 hours in November in Dublin alone. Nobody thinks this is acceptable and people on all sides offer sympathies but we need more than that. We need greater action and must not to tolerate the fact that nearly 4,000 children are homeless in our society. We need to all work to change this in 2019 and the Government must lead the way.
Focus Ireland has constantly maintained that there will be no solution to the homeless crisis until the Government takes more serious measures to prevent families losing their homes.”
Focus Ireland has again called for two key actions which must be taken by the government to help ease the crisis.
- Develop a specific family homelessness strategy given the scale of this crisis. Focus Ireland has called for the government to introduce a specific sub-strategy for addressing the needs of homeless families. There must be a real impetus when there are children and vulnerable people involved, and we think there has been a failure to grasp that by the government.
- Set a cast iron deadline that no family or person will be homeless for longer than six months. This will require new measures to prevent men, women and children losing their homes and improved measures to help those who are already homeless. Many are trapped in hotels or bed and breakfasts in one room with their children.
Media contacts: Roughan MacNamara 0864680442 or Alan Neary 0864680442