News & Events
Peter McVerry Trust, the charity working with homeless youths, has announced that it supported 3,586 people in the Dublin region last year. The charity said that the vast majority of those receiving support through its services were young, single males who were experiencing homelessness but that it has also seen an increase in the number of couples and families in its services recently.
Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “Nearly all of the services we provide recorded an increase in the number of people that they supported. Our homelessness prevention services saw a 17% increase in the number of people accessing them, with 1,001 people receiving support and advice. The number of residential placements we provided also increased to 2,124, a 25% increase on 2012, while the number of meals we provided rose from 57,000 in 2012 to 75,000 in 2013.”
“The vast majority of people accessing our services continue to be young men aged from 18 to 35. In addition to homelessness the areas that they most frequently required support with were drug use (87%), family (58%) and mental health (49%).”
Peter McVerry Trust is calling on the Government to tackle the causes of the housing and homelessness crisis and to take immediate measures to prevent the situation deteriorating further.
“Our priority is to prevent people entering homelessness but if people do become homeless then we need to make sure they can exit homelessness quickly. The problem is that without appropriate levels of social and affordable housing units people are forced to look at the private rental sector. There people are faced with rising rents, because there isn’t enough units to meet the needs of vulnerable people and those already in the private market. There is also discrimination against social welfare recipients. The result is that people are effectively being shut out of the rental market and as a result many are faced with long stays in homeless services. We urgently need to provide an outlet for people to exit homeless services before they become entrenched and significantly impacted by the experience.”
“The fastest way to secure pathways out of homelessness and reduce the number of people in homeless services is to provide voluntary housing bodies with capital funding for the acquisition of properties for both individuals and families. These acquisitions could be available in 3-4 months and would have an almost immediate impact on numbers exiting homelessness. This would reduce pressure on homeless services, remove the need for people to stay in B&Bs and hotels, and possibly free up some resources that could go towards increasing prevention budgets or making more residential units available.”
Concluding Mr Doyle said “If we could secure additional residential units then we would have some space and time to create the key piece in tackling the housing issue, a National Housing Strategy. This is needed to place the right to a home at the centre of housing policy and to create a sustainable framework for the provision of social, affordable and private housing now and in the future. It would offer an opportunity to tackle the fundamental problems at the core of this and past housing crises in the State.