Wayne Stanley, national spokesperson for the Simon Communities of Ireland responding to the latest figures said, ‘This anticipated but welcome drop reflects the decisive measures taken to prevent as many families and individuals as possible from having to enter homelessness during this emergency. With the ongoing efforts amongst service providers and local authorities, we hope to see another fall next month. This would be real progress. However as the report today shows, there are still 9907 people, 3355 of them children in homelessness. ’
Wayne Stanley continued: ‘We need to include a word of caution on these numbers. We know that there are many individuals and families who were on the brink of homelessness who have been supported to remain in their home due to the moratorium on evictions for the duration of the crisis. Once the health crisis eases, we need to ensure that there are preventative supports in place to help these families and individuals stay out of homeless emergency accommodation. We believe that work should be a part of ongoing planning to unwind the restrictions put in place due to the health crisis and should continue as part of any new government strategy on homelessness.
Wayne Stanley concluded ‘The COVID-19 crisis has transformed the way we live in the last six weeks. For those of us working with people experiencing homelessness, it has reinforced our knowledge that a home is critical to our health and wellbeing. It has also given us very clear insight into what can be achieved when homelessness is addressed as the crisis it is.’
For media queries and interview requests
The Simon Communities support over 16,700 men, women and children. We have 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please visit www.simon.ie.
• Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
• Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
• Housing with support and Housing First services.
• Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
• Personal development, education, training and employment services.
• Food banks, drop-in centres and soup runs.