herald

Thursday 22 August 2019

Number of homeless children reaches record 3,821

Minister Eoghan Murphy
Minister Eoghan Murphy

Almost 4,000 children were living in emergency accommodation in March as the number of kids without a home rose over the previous month.

The figures, released by the Department of Housing yesterday, reveal 3,821 children were among 1,733 families living in hotels, B&Bs and other emergency accommodation in March.

There were also 6,484 adults who are officially homeless.

Combined with children, the number of homeless people now stands at 10,305; an increase of 41 - including 37 children - over February, when the number of homeless people first surpassed the 10,000 mark.

Kerry Anthony, chief executive of the Depaul homeless charity, said there is a long way to go in addressing the crisis.

"This is the third successive record in as many months, which indicates there is still a long road to go," she said.

Important

"Recently we have seen in some of our emergency accommodations that over 50pc of those new to homelessness were between the ages of 18 and 34.

"It is important to point out that this is a sample representing Depaul's emergency services, however, for some young adults in our society that means starting your adult life off as homeless."

Inner City Helping Homeless chief executive Anthony Flynn reiterated calls for homelessness to be treated as a national emergency.

"The detrimental impact on children and adults that are homeless is immeasurable and it's their physical and mental health that are suffering," he said.

"We need to see the Government treat homelessness as a national emergency, with an emergency sitting of the Dail."

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said: "We continue to put considerable efforts in to prevent people from entering emergency accommodation."

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