herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

More than 1,800 children in Dublin are now homeless

Kerry Anthony of Depaul
Kerry Anthony of Depaul

The homeless crisis in the capital has spiralled yet again - with more than 1,800 children now living in temporary accommodation.

New figures released by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive revealed there are now 913 families with 1,847 children in accommodation for the homeless.

The latest figures released yesterday refer to the week ending May 29.

Nationwide, there were 1,054 families, including 2,177 children, who were in homeless accommodation during the same week.

The number of families who are homeless in Dublin has increased by 34pc since last December, when there were 683 families, including 939 adults and 1,409 children, who were in homeless accommodation in the week ending December 27.

Depaul, a charity focusing on aid for homeless people, urged a strong and coordinated approach to stem the daily flow of families into emergency accommodation and to provide move-on options for them.

"On a daily basis in our services we are seeing more and more families who are facing the devastation of homelessness," said Ms Kerry Anthony, chief executive officer of Depaul.

"Over the past two years these numbers have gone up and up every single month.

"In May 2015, the number of children who were homeless in Dublin surpassed the 1,000 mark - and Depaul, along with other homeless charities, were urging action.

"One year on, there are 800 additional children who have no place to call home in Dublin. It is time that we confront this situation as the emergency that it is, and put in place immediate and long-term solutions to reverse this damaging trend.

"We urge that the recommendations included in the report from the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness be delivered as a priority."

The committee has recommended local councils nationwide provide 10,000 new social housing units each year for the next five years.

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn accused the Government of "too much talk and not enough action".

Invite

He also accused new Housing Minister Simon Coveney of not being "fully up to speed" and said he "needs to start implementing changes now, rather than months down the road".

"I would invite the Minister onto the streets to meet some of the 140 sleeping rough around the city each night - maybe that will open his eyes," he said.

Mr Flynn added the cost of accommodating those who are without a place to call home is rising week on week.

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