FOCUS IRELAND CALLS FOR MORE GOVERNMENT ACTION TO AS NEW FIGURES REPORT 10,275 PEOPLE HOMELESS
New Focus Ireland figures show number of families who became homeless in Dublin rocketed by 70% over one month (as 124 families became homeless in July compared to 73 in June).
Focus Ireland has today called for the Government to urgently review its policies to tackle the homelessness crisis as new figures published reveal a total of 10,275 people officially homeless in July. This is a rise of 103 people from the total of 10,172 people who were officially homeless in June this year.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:
“We firmly believe that homelessness can be ended and are working hard to achieve this. Focus Ireland – in partnership with the State – helped 59 families to leave homelessness last month in Dublin which means that 124 children in these families now have a place to call home. These figures show there is much good work being done that is really helping a lot of people.”
“However, it is awful to see that in the very same month Focus Ireland figures show that a total of 124 families with 263 children became homeless in Dublin. This is the highest monthly number of families becoming newly homeless in Dublin in over three years. The previous highest monthly total was 125 families in Jan 2016. This shows there has been a failure to stem the flow of families and individuals into homelessness every month.”
Focus Ireland staff and volunteers put together hundreds of school packs to help the rising number of schoolchildren who are homeless as they returned to school after the holidays. You can watch a 50 second video here and media have full permission to use online across all platforms.
Focus Ireland has called for the Government to review its policies dealing with homelessness and stated that such a review must examine very carefully how children are being treated in the homeless crisis.
The new figures issued by the Dept. of Housing reveal that 3778 of the total number homeless are children (in 1265 families). Meanwhile, the regional figures show that the crisis has spread to many cities nationwide with over 500 families and 1000 children now homeless outside of Dublin.
Mr. Dennigan added:
“The damage homelessness is causing to our children was again highlighted this very week as over 2,250 children who are homeless went back to school nationwide. There’s a real danger that these human stories – and these children – get lost behind the numbers. We know through our work supporting families that homelessness is very damaging to children. When you think of over 2,250 school children homeless, that really brings home the stark extent of this human crisis and the need for more action.”
Focus Ireland said that a full review of three years’ experience of Rebuilding Ireland review should look at both the successes and the things that need to change. The charity said this approach would allow the Government to take the decisions that are urgently required including actively building more social housing, taxing those who hoard building land and better protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction. The charity has called on the Government and all TDs to ensure that they make homelessness a greater priority when they return to the Dail in mid September as we will face a crucial few months ahead in the battle to end this homelessness crisis.
Focus Ireland also repeated its call for the Government to set a cast-iron deadline that no family or individuals should be homeless for longer than six months and to put a specific family homelessness strategy in place to deal more effectively with this deepening crisis.