Budget 2021 must meet the homelessness crisis with an all-of-government crisis response and put in place long-term structural prevention measures. That is the message from Simon Communities of Ireland, which is formally launching its Pre-Budget submission today (25.09.2020).
The Simon Communities of Ireland say Budget 2021 must address homelessness by:
- Investing in and supporting homelessness prevention measures.
- Committing to expanding Housing First.
- Providing funding for 15,000 Local authority or AHB built homes each year with 50% of these to be one and two bed units.
- Committing to dedicated funding for health, mental health and addiction services for people experiencing homelessness.
This Budget must meet these commitments through dedicated and expanded funding streams. These services are more critical than ever given the additional stressors that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered for many people experiencing homelessness and those on the brink.
Commenting, Simon Communities of Ireland’s Head of Policy and Communications, Wayne Stanley said: “Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we have seen the government implementing several emergency measures to protect vulnerable individuals from entering homelessness. In line with this we have seen a drop in the number of people accessing emergency accommodation. The government must continue to put funding in place in budget 2021 for the necessary crisis measures and make long-term structural changes so that we can stop homelessness before it starts. Our housing system is broken. The State is taking an individualised and short-term approach to ending homeless, which is not working because the problem is systemic.
“The measures to end homelessness are multifaceted, but the implementation of long-term prevention measures will have a significant positive impact. Increased costs associated with Covid-19 measures should not divert funding away from homelessness and related services in Budget 2021. The new government must commit to a dedicated homeless funding stream to include ring fenced funding for homelessness prevention. This funding must support community initiatives that are providing those at risk with timely advice and providing vulnerable youths with the supports they need to stop homelessness before it starts.
Wayne Stanley added: “Ending homelessness is possible: During the Covid-19 crisis, Ireland made significant strides in reducing homelessness. Now, it is essential that we learn from that experience and put the long-term measures necessary in place to stop men, women and children from entering homelessness before it’s too late”
FULL PRE BUDGET-SUBMISSION <HERE>
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About Simon Communities
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.