The prolonged economic crisis means more people are at risk of homelessness, more people are becoming homeless and more people than ever are turning to the Simon Communities for support. For many, the social welfare safety net is the only thing standing between them and homelessness. Cutbacks to funding for housing support, for health services, probation and welfare services, education and training services etc, have knock-on effects that contribute to homelessness. This combination of factors can trigger homelessness in the first place, but can also prevent people from moving out of homelessness.
CSO figures released in September 2012 indicated that 3,808 people were either counted in accommodation providing shelter for people who are homeless or sleeping rough on Census Night April 11th 2011, of those 1,648 or 43% were in emergency accommodation. This is a minimum figure and things have deteriorated significantly since April 2011. The Simon Communities in Ireland work with between 4,500 and 5,000 people annually who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness across the country.