Our Advocacy Team campaigns for policy reform aimed at preventing individuals and families becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness. Critical to this task is the need to demonstrate the effectiveness of a particular policy and communicate that evidence to key audiences, such as the Oireachtas, national and local government, the statutory sector, other voluntary bodies and the public. Focus Ireland has submitted over 70 policy submissions to Government and relevant policy groups since 2000, as well as joint submissions in collaboration with other voluntary and statutory bodies. Focus Ireland’s policy work is supported by funding from the Pobal Scheme to Support National Organisations (SNNO) and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
2018 will see Focus Ireland work with over 15,000 people. Across Ireland 2018 has proven to be an even more difficult year for those experiencing homelessness. This year is seeing the largest ever increase in family homelessness. While a significant number of individuals and families have been supported to move on from homelessness, there have been a number of challenges that has seen homelessness increase again this year to new record highs. This review provides an outline of homelessness in Ireland in 2018.
The decision to remove over 1,600 people from the official homeless statistics undermined public confidence in the accuracy of housing and homeless statistics, reduced the credibility of important Government initiatives to tackle this national crisis, reduced our capacity to understand the changing nature of the crisis and distracted policy resources from issues of substance. These problems have been created as much by the piecemeal, unilateral manner in which the changes have been implemented as the changes themselves. The Department’s Report on the Categorisation of Emergency Accommodation in Monthly Homeless Reports does little to correct this damage or explain the rationale behind it.
Observations on the Homelessness Inter-Agency Group’s Report to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive’s Report to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
Focus Ireland’s research work aims to support and inform the organisation’s provision of housing and services to people out-of-home and its lobbying, campaigning, policy and education functions through the production of topical, relevant and methodologically-sound research.
Brighter Future for Care leavers commissioned by Focus Ireland and conducted by a team from the University of York is a consultation with care experienced young people and aftercare workers to explore the scope for developing an aftercare framework to support outcomes and services provision. The messages and findings that emerged from the consultation with young people and aftercare workers provides a snapshot of aftercare experiences and support and highlight some of the strengths and the gaps in aftercare preparation and support for young people leaving care in Ireland.
This research briefing presents an overview of all data from surveys which were conducted with families presenting as homeless across 2016 and 2017. This evidence collected across these quarterly surveys indicate that most families entering emergency accommodation have broadly stable housing histories and their routes into homelessness are closely related to broader structural and systemic problem in the housing market. Furthermore, these housing market dynamics disproportionately impact on families who are on low incomes including lone mothers, young parents and migrants. These categories are often overlapping with families sometimes presenting two or more risk factors
This study seeks to understand the housing and support needs of young parents (aged 18-24 years) whose first step away from their family home leads to them and their children entering homelessness. These families typically report family conflict together with overcrowding before leaving the family home, and in the context of the current housing crisis, they are unable to secure their own housing. These families are likely to have limited experience of living as independent adults, let alone as parents. This report is a first step in trying to better cater for these young parents.
Focus Ireland is committed to regular evaluations of its work and services. Evaluations help us to assess the quality and effectiveness of our work. The services we provide have continually been adapted to suit the changing needs of our customers and to provide the best possible services.
The innovative is a collaboration between Focus Ireland, Tusla and Limerick City and Council, with the aim if of providing homes for vulnerable young people along with the vital support to help them sustain their tenancies as they make the transition into adulthood. The independent evaluation was carried out by Eilis Lawlor and Niamh Bowen from the UK based 'Just Economics.'
Focus Ireland’s ‘My Home, My Choice’ project – a project funded by Genio – was established in 2012. It supports individuals with a diagnosed mental health diagnosis and who are recognised as having a housing need by their local authority. Focus Ireland commissioned independent research consultancy Quality Matters to conduct a financial savings review of ‘My Home, My Choice’ project.
The Support to Live Independently (SLÍ) initiative is a visiting support service to those with low or moderate needs who have secured independent accommodation after leaving homeless services. The aims of the scheme are to support homeless people to move on from homelessness to living independently, and to assist with reintegration into the local community.