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Youth homelessness crisis deepens

  • 01/06/2017
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Just one in four young homeless in stable housing after two years, study finds

Young man

Five homeless charities have warned of a deepening youth homelessness crisis in Ireland with the number of 18-24 year olds increasing by 78 per cent over the last three years.

Government figures have reported that 793 young people were homeless and in emergency accommodation in the week of April 4th-30th 2017. This represented a 82 per cent increase from 436, the earliest figure available (April 2014).

Only a quarter found stable accommodation

Only a quarter of homeless young people tracked over a two year period found stable accommodation at the end of that period. This is according to the “Living in Limbo - Homeless Young People’s Paths to Housing” study carried out by Dr Paula Mayock and Sarah Parker of the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin - launched this week by Mary McAleese.

The study was co-funded by Focus Ireland, Simon Communities of Ireland, Threshold, Peter McVerry Trust and Society of St Vincent De Paul - all charities working on behalf of homeless, poor and disadvantaged people.

Factors affecting youth homelessness

The study followed 40 young people over 24 months in order to examine the factors, experiences and circumstances that impact on their homeless and housing situations over time.

Lack of access to affordable housing 

Lack of access to affordable housing was one of the key reasons the young people remained trapped in homelessness.

The study found that just 24 per cent of the young people were in housing after the two-year period, while 76 per cent were either homeless or living in insecure accommodation. Situations of "hidden homelessness" were also common - such as 'sofa surfing' in the homes of family or friends.

Five charities spokesman's comments

On behalf of the five charities involved, Mike Allen of Focus Ireland said that it was “a highly important piece of research” as it “clearly indicates there are very targeted measures that can - and must - be put in place to prevent more young people becoming homeless next month, next year and in coming years.

“It also demonstrates the impact that homeless organisations can have when we work together to take on major projects such as this”.

Read the 'Living in Limbo' report on the Simon Communities Ireland website

Source: Irish Times article: Just one in four young homeless housed after two years, study finds

If you need help

You can use the Turn2us Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your background, circumstances and needs.

The following organisations may be able to give you further advice:

Money Advice and Budgeting Service which can advise on debt, including housing, and has information sheets on its website.

Homelessness charities Simon Communities of Ireland and Focus Ireland

You may also find it helpful to look at the Citizens Ireland information on housing

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