Coalition bids to tackle homelessness
A new coalition has been formed to end spiralling youth homelessness.
The partnership, established by Focus Ireland and the National Youth Council of Ireland, is supported by the youth and homeless sectors.
The number of homeless people aged between 18 and 24 has almost doubled over the last three years, to a record of 826.
Focus Ireland Life president and founder, Sr Stan Kennedy, has called for coordinated state action to tackle the problem.
Sr Stan was speaking yesterday at a conference on youth homelessness in Lim- erick to highlight the shocking, 98% rise in the number of 18-24-year-olds who have become homeless since 2014.
The housing and homelessness charity said that young people had paid a high price for the years of austerity and that many had become marginalised and homeless as a result.
“This issue must be addressed, as a matter of urgency, if we are to avoid condemning many young people to lives of marginalisation and unfulfilled promise,” she said.
She believes the number of homeless 18-24-year-olds is much higher than the official figure from the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government.
“This figure does not include young people who live in unstable and temporary arrangements, such as staying on friend’s couches,” she said.
Sr Stan said the great work being carried out by a wide range of organisation was preventing the crisis from worsening.
She mentioned the innovative and highly successful youth housing project, a collaboration between Focus Ireland, Tusla, and Limerick City and Council.
“We are providing homes for vulnerable young people, along with vital support to help them sustain their tenancies, as they make the transition into adulthood, ” Sr Stan said.
Focus Ireland also provides youth housing in Waterford, Cork, Clare, and North Tipperary. Sr Stan said this approach must be extended around the country.
The Coalition to End Youth Homelessness is supported by the National Youth Council of Ireland, Simon Communities of Ireland, Crosscare, Threshold, The Society of St Vincent de Paul, BeLonG To, a national organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) young people, Teen Parents Support Programme, and the Union of Students in Ireland.