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.
Focus Ireland welcomes the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) No Place Like Home report as a valuable and insightful contribution to the debate on responding to the needs of families who are homeless. Our response considers the scope of the report and makes recommendations based on the actions to be prioritised based on the findings of the report.
Focus Ireland welcomes the opportunity to attend the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government to discuss family and child homelessness. This submission outlines our concerns about family hubs based on the findings from the Ombudsman for Children’s report.
The key to tackling the housing and homelessness crisis is to increase access to – and delivery of – social housing along with affordable and secure rental accommodation. In the 2019 Local Elections, Focus Ireland is calling on councillors to take a local lead in ensuring that appropriate standards are in place in their own local areas.
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.
This major Focus Ireland study details the findings of 237 families currently on Focus Ireland Family Homeless Action Team caseload. It examines the causes of family homelessness, their housing histories and the families’ efforts to find a home. The report finds that 68% of the families had their last stable home in the private rented sector and 36% of whom lost their property due to landlord selling. The report includes commentary which draws on some key policy implications.
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
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.