33% jump in demand for homeless services

Simon Community helped 11,000+ in 2016
  • Deborah Condon

The number of people requiring services from the Simon Community jumped by 33% last year.

According to the housing and homeless charity's Annual Report for 2016, it worked with 11,005 people last year - a jump of one-third when compared with 2015.

These 11,005 people included 1,417 families and 2,860 children.

The charity pointed out that this Christmas, there will be at least 8,500 people in emergency accommodation, ‘and many thousands more living with housing insecurity'.

"While we have seen some move on to tenancies in the capital, in the absence of affordable and social housing or an accessible private rental sector, the majority have nowhere to go. Every person has their own story but what is common to all is that homelessness and housing insecurity is traumatic, stressful and filled with uncertainty," commented the charity's spokesperson, Niamh Randall.

She said that the State has to start looking at the housing and homeless crisis ‘from a human rights based approach'.

"People who are homeless are denied basic human rights and constitutional protection. Rights are intersectional, meaning that the denial of one right often results in the denial of others. Housing is a fundamental right that facilitates the enjoyment of so many other rights including health, education, employment, privacy and family life," Ms Randall noted.

She said that security of tenure is key - people should not have to worry about eviction or having their home taken away from them with very little notice.

"It means having the right to live somewhere in peace and dignity with access to appropriate services, schools, and employment. Homelessness therefore is a clear violation of this right," Ms Randall insisted.

The charity highlighted the fact that the New Year will begin with more than 5,000 adults and 3,000 children living in emergency accommodation, ‘with many more trapped in housing insecurity and hidden in doorways and squats across our towns and cities'.

"Without shelter, safety and security it is almost impossible to function, to participate in society and to get involved in your community. The Simon Community will continue to let people know they have not been forgotten and left behind. That this is not acceptable for any man, woman or child in Ireland in 2018," Ms Randall added.

For more information on the Simon Community, click here


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