Restating our Vision 2021–25

Focus Ireland was set up over 35 years ago with the belief that homelessness is wrong and can be put right. We have always understood that the solution to homelessness is not a shelter for the night but a secure home for good.

Homelessness can be ended

 

In this new strategy, we re-assert our belief that with the right mix of policies, practices and priorities- homelessness can be ended. 

At the heart of this strategy is a certainty that homelessness can be effectively brought to an end. We know that it cannot be achieved in the five years covered by this strategy, or even over a single decade. We also know that it cannot be achieved by Focus Ireland alone, it needs a commitment from Government underpinned by a broad political consensus strong enough to hold firm over several Governments. 

A woman wearing a coat with a large faux fur hood and carrying a backpack walks along a hallway. She is looking towards the camera.

Our 5-year impact

  • 1,152 additional households will have a home through Focus Housing Association
  • 5,000 households supported to move out of homelessness
  • 3,000 households prevented from becoming homeless

Our wider impact

  • National Strategy to End Homelessness
  • Vulnerable young people leaving care will have a lower risk of homelessness
  • Family homelessness caused by economic factors alone will be a thing of the past

Restating our Vision 2021-25

  • Our goal is to end homelessness in Ireland
  • We recognise that we cannot do this alone
  • We are committed to partnership arrangements with the State, local and health authorities, voluntary organisation and others to achieve the shared goal of ending homelessness
  • Through our own services, housing, and research we are committed to demonstrating how this can be achieved

A strategy built around the people we support

Because our work is fundamentally concerned with people – the challenges they face and how we can support them to secure their existing home or move out of homelessness – this strategy is built around the household circumstances in which people live. Over the 2021–2025 period of this strategy, Focus Ireland will concentrate our resources in four key work streams reflecting the lives of the people we support.

The households we will support from 2021-202

Families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have complex support needs

Families with wide-ranging and complex support needs – vulnerable families – have always been a core part of Focus Ireland’s work and we will continue to channel a sizeable proportion of our resources towards their needs. 

Families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness primarily due to economic circumstances

During the housing crisis of the last few years, most families become   homeless primarily because of economic reasons – the landlord evicts them because they are selling up, or moving a family member in, or their rent is unaffordable. 

Young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with complex support needs

Focus Ireland has a long track-record of working with young people who are homeless. This includes partnerships with Tusla to provide aftercare services to care leavers, emergency residential services and a range of youth housing services in the South-East, South-West and elsewhere. In Dublin, we partner with the City of Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB) to provide essential day services such as Focus Ireland’s ‘Extension’ service. Focus Ireland has commissioned some of the most influential research on youth homelessness and is a leading voice in advocating public policy change. 

Single adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with complex support needs

While, at the outset of this strategy, there are welcome signs of family and youth homelessness declining, homelessness among single adult men and women continues at an unrelenting rate. Focus Ireland’s Housing First partnerships with local authorities and the HSE across the country will be at the core of this element of our strategy, which will also include our work with the existing 450 single people who are our long-term tenants of Focus Housing Association after moving on from homelessness.

“All of us at Focus Ireland believe that homelessness can be ended. We know what is working and what isn’t. And we also have a very clear vision of what needs to be done by the government and all parties concerned in order to ease – and then end – this crisis. This vision is outlined in this strategy and is informed directly by the amazing work our staff does as we help to support families and individuals while they are homeless. This new strategy is consistent with what we have always set out to do and with our vision that everyone has a right to a place they can call home.”