Focus Ireland delivers petition signed by over 10,700 people calling for a National Youth Homeless Strategy
Crisis deepens as number of 18-24 year-olds homeless rockets 82% in just 4 years
Focus Ireland was joined today by a large group of supporters who delivered a petition with over 10,700 signatures calling on all political parties to include a commitment to a national Youth Homeless Strategy in their manifestos for the forthcoming General Election. The petition was handed to the Children and Youth Affairs spokespersons of all the political parties outside Leinster House.
The #EndYouthHomelessness campaign has received a massive response since Focus Ireland launched the campaign at Body & Soul festival in June. Young people aged 18-24 years old are bearing the brunt of the housing and homelessness crisis, and are six times more likely to experience discrimination by private landlords. According to the August homeless figures from the Department of Housing there are 910 young people living in emergency accommodation.
Focus Ireland Advocacy Director Mike Allen outlined the significant backing #EndYouthHomelessness has received:
“Our younger generation are empowered agents of change and will not accept the inequality they face. The campaign has also received support from a broad range of people across civil society indicating great demand for action. Young people have been left behind throughout the housing crisis and this has got to end.”
“Young adults are most likely to bunk-in with friends and extended family to keep a roof over their heads. They are part of the hidden homeless and are not included in the Government’s official homelessness figures. This needs to be addressed as a matter of great urgency.
Mike Allen continued:
“We have met with representatives from a number of political parties to discuss the issue and I’m encouraged with their response. As well as the Government, I am asking of all opposition political groups to include a Youth Homeless Strategy in their pre-election manifestos.”
#EndYouthHomelessness has received significant support for the campaign from Body & Soul,from the Union of Students in Ireland, Love Sensation Festival, Mother, BeLonG To Youth Services and Dublin Flea Market.
Focus Ireland said that a Youth Homeless Strategy must include actions to ensure the following:
- Prevent young people from becoming homeless in the first place. The Government must give tenants greater security so young people can plan for their future.
- If young people become homeless the services and emergency accommodation they receive must be designed to meet their specific needs.
- Young LGBTQ+ people are at higher risk of homelessness across the world. Homeless services should be LGBTQ+ – friendly and staff should be trained to respond to specific needs.
- The Government must guarantee that all young people leaving State Care have a secure home.
For more information on the #EndYouthHomelessness campaign visit: focusireland.ie
For media queries contact: Conor Culkin 086 468 0442