Home­less­ness among 18-24 group dou­bled in three years, says char­ity

Irish Independent - - NEWS - Ian Be­g­ley

THE num­ber of home­less 18-24 year olds has al­most dou­bled since 2014, ac­cord­ing to Fo­cus Ire­land.

Re­cent fig­ures from the De­part­ment of Hous­ing show that 826 peo­ple in that age group ac­cessed State home­less ser­vices.

The equiv­a­lent fig­ure in June 2014 was just 418, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Fo­cus Ire­land, the real to­tal this year is much higher. That is be­cause the fig­ure of 826 does not in­clude young peo­ple liv­ing in un­sta­ble and tem­po­rary ar­range­ments, such as stay­ing on friends’ couches.

The home­less char­ity held a ma­jor con­fer­ence on youth home­less­ness yes­ter­day in Lim­er­ick in an ef­fort to high­light the is­sue.

The char­ity’s founder, Sr Stan Kennedy, said this is­sue must be ad­dressed as a mat­ter of ur­gency if we were to avoid con­demn­ing many young peo­ple to lives of marginal­i­sa­tion and un­ful­filled prom­ise.

She con­tin­ued: “The ter­ri­ble is­sues of both street home­less­ness and fam­ily home­less­ness, and the af­fect on chil­dren, are well doc­u­mented, with 8,160 peo­ple in this un­ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion.

“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 added: “Young peo­ple have al­ready paid a high price for the aus­ter­ity years and many have be­come home­less and marginalised.”

Sis­ter Stan Kennedy, founder of the char­ity Fo­cus Ire­land

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