Homeless Crisis as Economy Booms

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor
December / January 2020

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Ireland is a tale of two countries. While the economy is booming, the country is also facing the worst homelessness crisis in living memory, according to one of its leading homeless charities, Focus Ireland.There is now a record total of 9,689 people homeless, a number that includes more than 4,000 children.“The worrying thing about how systemic homelessness is becoming is that we are now seeing babies being born into homelessness,” said Focus Ireland advocacy manager Roughan MacNamara. “Over 140 babies of the homeless families we are supporting were homeless when they were born.”It’s not just a Dublin-based problem either. “The way things are going now, there are nearly 500 families and 1,000 children who are homeless outside of Dublin, so it’s a real sign that homelessness has gotten worse,” said MacNamara. Focus Ireland helped more than 13,000 people from January to the end of September this year, a six-percent rise on the 12,270 helped in the same period in 2018. It also supported more than 350 people in securing a home and escaping homelessness. The group is now hoping to raise €1.5 million in its Christmas appeal to support a new family center, which will open by the end.  

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