The Galway Simon Community has raised serious concerns at numbers showing that homelessness in the West of Ireland has jumped four-fold in just four years.
The latest homelessness figures from the Department of Housing show that there were 535 people in emergency accommodation in the west of Ireland. Among those, 80 families with 185 children.
This is four times higher than the number of homeless recorded in July 2015, just four years ago Galway Simon says.
According to the homeless charity 236 of those currently in emergency accommodation in the West are children and youth’s under the age of 24, representing 44% of the total number of people in emergency accommodation.
Karen Golden, CEO of the Galway Simon Community highlighted the impact of the crisis on children and young people, and the pressure on the private rental sector.
“Over the last four years, there has been just over a four-fold increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation in the West of Ireland, and unfortunately, young people are amongst those increasingly being affected by this crisis”, Karen said.
Early intervention is key to keeping young people from homelessness Karen Golden said, highlighting the importance of Galway Simon’s Youth Service, which provides services to Young Adults (18-25), and is seeing more demand than ever.
“Our frontline workers see the effects first hand that homelessness is having on young people and children and this is why we continue to focus on Prevention Services”, Karen Golden said.
“It is critically important that, wherever possible, we support young people to ensure that they do not have to experience the trauma of homelessness.”
For those who may already be living without a home, the Youth Service has transitional accommodation where young people can stay, with supports to increase independent living, education, and employment skills.
Homelessness among children can have long term effects that can affect them throughout their lives, emphasising the importance of tackling this crisis among children and families.