Thousands of children will be homeless when they return to school after the summer

The number of officially homeless people hit another new record in July at 12,847

The numbers show a significant increase of 247 people in one month compared to the 12,600 homeless in June this year. These latest numbers show a 22 percent increase in homelessness compared to July 2022

The figures also show another new record number of 1,839 families with 3,829 homeless children. The charity said it had to be seen as unacceptable that thousands of children were left homeless as they would soon be returning to school after the summer.

Pat Dennigan, Focus Ireland CEO: “Summer is meant to be a carefree time for young people, but this year more and more children are grappling with the trauma caused by homelessness. We are working with the state to support these children, but the reality is that many will soon be returning to school from shelters such as hotels and family centers. It is wrong that this is happening. As a society, we need to move beyond “disappointment” and fully agree that not only is this unacceptable, but that more can – and must – be done.

“We have seen before how decisive action gets results, with homelessness in families reduced by 45 per cent between November 2019 and April 2021 thanks to the work of Focus Ireland and others in partnership with the State. During the pandemic, the government’s response led to the successful implementation of joint health and housing policies, yielding notable results. One of those measures was the eviction ban and another was to ensure that homeless families were given priority on social housing.”

According to Focus Ireland, family homelessness continues to rise, largely because families are finding it more difficult than ever to secure a new home and move out of homelessness. This means that not only are more families becoming homeless, but they are stuck in homelessness for longer.

He added: “The only long-term solution to ending homelessness in Ireland is a rapid building program for new social and affordable housing, using social housing allocations to curb homelessness.” type of homes that are needed, so a good mix of council housing, rental housing and department stores that is affordable for families and individuals.”

Meanwhile, on the release of the July homelessness report, the Dublin Simon Community said it was disappointed to see another month of increases in the number of people in shelters across the country, which now stands at 12,847. Dublin had 9,484 adults and children in shelters in July, up just over 2 per cent from the number in June.

The charity for the homeless has stated that the current demand for homeless services is unprecedented in the more than 50 years since its inception. In addition, according to those responsible on the front line, the phenomenon of workers being housed in emergency shelters still exists.

Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon Community, said: “The provision of housing units is not keeping pace with the unprecedented surge of people becoming homeless. To make matters worse, the number of people making the transition from homelessness to housing is utterly unsatisfactory.

“We cannot underestimate the detrimental effects of homelessness on an individual’s health and well-being. It’s a life-changing and traumatizing experience, and the fact that she’s indefinitely stuck in an emergency shelter only exacerbates that trauma.”

Ms Kenny added: “As the groundwork is laid for the medium to long-term provision of housing, we call on the Government to provide assistance to the thousands of people affected by the homelessness crisis here and now.” Homeless services must be fully operational financed. All available capital resources for the housing supply must be used. The supply of one and two bed units is absolutely integral.

“It’s time to usher in a new era for society, where homelessness becomes a dim but distant memory.” Thousands of children will be homeless when they return to school after the summer

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