Focus Ireland Figures Report 366 Families & 731 Children Have Become Homeless in Dublin in the First 4 Months of 2016 as the Crisis Deepens.
New figures issued by Focus Ireland today (Mon May 23rd) report that 74 families became newly homeless in Dublin in April and were referred to its family services. These latest figures mean that 366 families and 731 children have become homeless in the first 4 months of this year alone in the capital. The new figures come following a record total of 125 families became homeless in January, 83 in February, 84 in March and now 74 in April in Dublin.
The increase brings the total number of families living in emergency accommodation in Dublin to a record 888 with 1786 children.
Focus Ireland warned that the continued record number of families becoming homeless combined with pressure on hotel rooms means the risk of families being forced to sleep rough is beginning to re-emerge.
‘Our Housing First street team (operated jointly with Peter McVerry trust) is increasingly working with families that have not obtained emergency accommodation late into the evening. Last year, in collaboration with the DRHE and other homeless organisations, we put a number of ‘safety net’ options in place. We are having to trigger these responses on an increasingly frequent basis. This situation puts added stress on parents and children who are already in crisis. We are again at a point where it will just take one more thing to go wrong before a family is left with no shelter for the night. Focus Ireland are working closely with DRHE to find solutions to this but it is an intolerable situation which the incoming government needs to address.
Focus Ireland is set to address the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness later this week and the charity said it will be highlighting the need for effective measures to prevent households becoming homeless. ‘Our teams and the DRHE have done an extraordinary job in finding emergency accommodation as family homelessness doubled then doubled again. But there comes a point where there are no more B&B’s and no more hotel rooms. Unless it takes radical measures to prevent families losing their homes in the first place, the government will either have to commandeer hotel rooms or face families being forced to sleep in currently unthinkable situations.”
The charity will also be calling upon Minister Coveney to extend the Ministerial directive calling on the allocation of 50% of all social housing in Dublin to be for vulnerable households including those who are homeless. The charity said this directive has been a key factor in ensuring Focus Ireland has been able to support one family a day to secure a home and move on from homelessness.
Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “These figures clearly show the family homeless crisis is deepening with 366 newly homeless families referred to Focus Ireland’s Family Services in the first four months of this year compared to a total of 739 becoming homeless in Dublin during the whole of last year. Many more single people have also become homeless during this time.”
He added: “It is important to highlight that the situation would in fact be much worse without the work Focus Ireland does in supporting families to move out of homelessness into secure housing with the support of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.” Focus Ireland helps one family a day to secure a home and escape from being homeless with the support of the DRHE and Local Authorities. However, at the same time 3 families become homeless every day as the crisis deepens.”
Media Enquiries to Michelle Moran 086 468 0442