According to Peter McVerry Trust, there were 9,968 people homeless in Ireland in November of 2018. 3,811 children were recorded to be living in State-funded emergency accommodation that month which is eighty-six more than October. Homelessness is increasing in Ireland every day. 110 people were recorded sleeping rough on the night of the official rough sleeper count in spring of 2018.
People become homeless for a variety of reasons. Some people are homeless because they were born on the streets, some are homeless because they lost their home and all their money and some people are homeless because they have drug or alcohol addictions. There is no simple reason for homelessness, but there can be a solution. There needs to be more beds in emergency accommodation and these centres need to be safer and made to make people feel more welcome. Some people would rather sleep on the streets than stay in emergency accommodation because according to a series of anecdotes these centres are not safe. On one occasion there was an eighteen-year-old who was placed in a room with people who were doing drugs right beside him. How can the government expect people to feel safe staying in emergency accommodation if things like this are happening?
The government are dealing with this problem by putting people in hotels for the moment. However, this is not a long-term solution. The government should be trying to build more houses and buildings for the homeless to stay in. More funding should go towards feeding the homeless and making sure they have basic human needs. The government should take homelessness a lot more seriously and they should fix this problem before it gets any worse.
There are many charities that help the homeless by providing shelters and food for them, but they still need more funding than they are getting. Some of these charities are The Peter McVerry Trust, Threshold and Focus Ireland. All of these charities help homelessness all over Ireland.
Homelessness can affect people’s lives in many different ways, for children it can affect their lives in school. Pre-schoolers are normally separated from their parents with can cause emotional problems. This can lead to bigger problems in the future for them. According to a report published by the Family Housing Fund entitled ‘Homelessness and its Effects on Children’, children who experience homelessness are more likely to suffer from development delays. In addition, according to the report, they receive fewer services than other children do at their age. By the time these homeless children have reached the age to go to school homelessness has already affected their social, physical and academic lives. Most homeless children suffer from specific physical, psychological and emotional damage due to episodes caused by homelessness. Homeless children also have a greater chance of becoming ill as they have poorer health care. Every human has the right to proper health care!
Homelessness can also ruin families. Financial disagreements, arguments and family breakdown are all negative effects. This can cause anxiety and depression. If someone is depressed and anxious, they are in no state to try take care of themselves and/or a family. I think to help this problem the government should offer therapy to people who really need it. Irish people can help by donating to charities as often as possible. They can also help by volunteering at shelters especially around the holidays when they are needed the most. They can also help homeless people by raising awareness around all of Ireland to make sure people know how serious this problem is and that it needs to be fixed.
Ciara Delaney – TY Press
Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park.
To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.