News & Events
Peter McVerry Trust has welcomed the publication of the review or the implementation of the youth homelessness strategy. The review, published today by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, makes a number of recommendations for tackling youth homelessness in the future.
Speaking following the publication of the report Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We welcome the publication of this review and the recognition that whilst the strategy has delivered improvements in the area of youth homelessness there remain a number of areas which can, and should be strengthened.”
“Among the key issues raised in the report is the acknowledgement that the use of Garda stations as an initial point of contact for children presenting as homelessness is completely inappropriate, that access to mental health services must be improved and that continued engagement in education is extremely important. Another area highlighted in the review is the vacuum that currently exists for homeless youths transitioning between children and adult services in particular those aged 18-25. The youth homelessness strategy has to date only dealt with those aged 18 and under so the recognition that the 18-25 age group have very specific needs and should receive additional supports is an important development in efforts to tackle youth homelessness.”
“Peter McVerry Trust has been calling for additional attention to be focused on this particular age group. We have also been leading efforts to tackle youth homelessness through the development of new programmes to assist young adults exiting under 18 services. New measures that we are implementing include the provision of semi – independent units adjacent to under 18 services that help provide a stable step in the transition to independent living for those exiting residential care. We have also made available dedicated staff and resources within our housing with supports service that focus on the needs of those exiting under 18 residential services to help them live independently.”
Concluding Mr Doyle said “We hope that that this review will now becomes a catalyst for the strengthening of youth homeless services and we look forward to working within a multi agency environment to eliminate youth homelessness”.
Peter McVerry Trust Under 18s Services
We currently operate three U18 services. We have worked with 52 homeless youths in these three services in the first 6 months of 2013. The youngest person in our services currently is 14. The services support boys and girls. All referrals come directly from the HSE. The services offer a highly individualised developmental programme that supports each young person’s progression towards adulthood and endeavours to equip them with the necessary skills needed for positive self-care, independent living and social integration.