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Progress in December, Yet a 14% Spike in Homelessness: Focus Ireland Urges Long-Term Solutions.

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Progress in December, Yet a 14% Spike in Homelessness: Focus Ireland Urges Long-Term Solutions.

Progress in December, Yet a 14% Spike in Homelessness: Focus Ireland Urges Long-Term Solutions.
February 08
16:12 2024

A recent report from the Department of Housing reveals a notable decrease of 196 individuals experiencing homelessness in December, bringing the total to 13,318. While this is a positive development, Focus Ireland, a non-profit organization addressing homelessness, highlights a disconcerting 14% surge in homelessness over the past year. Focus Ireland’s CEO, Pat Dennigan, expresses gratitude for the reduction in December but emphasizes the alarming overall increase in homelessness during the preceding 12 months, calling attention to the need for sustained efforts.

Focus Ireland attributes the December decline to more effective efforts by local authorities and stresses the importance of ensuring that families facing long-term homelessness receive their fair share of new social housing units. The organization commends the collaborative efforts of various entities, including local authorities, approved housing bodies, and frontline services. However, Mr. Dennigan urges a sustained commitment, emphasizing that the positive trend should continue on a long-term basis.

Despite the positive news for December, the overall statistics for the year remain troubling. There is a 14% rise in the total number of homeless individuals, a 15% increase in homeless children, and a staggering 20% surge in homeless families from December 2022 to December 2023. Mr. Dennigan issues a cautionary note, stating that one month of good figures cannot erase more than a year of rising homelessness. In addition to domestic concerns, Focus Ireland raises an urgent call for the government to reconsider its decision to limit emergency shelter for newly arrived Ukrainian refugees to 90 days, expressing concerns about the potential negative impact on refugees entering an already strained private rental market. As Ireland grapples with homelessness, the focus remains on sustaining positive trends and addressing root causes for a lasting impact.

Source: Focus Ireland

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