Figures published by the Department of Housing show the number of people who were homeless in November fell by 253 to 8,484 – compared to 8,737 in the previous month. There was also a drop in the number of children who are homeless to 2,452 – a fall of 190.
With the country re-entering Level 5, Focus Ireland believes there should be a broader eviction ban until April 2021 which will help keep people safe in their homes and prevent homeless services from becoming stretched to breaking point during winter and spring months.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “During 2020, incredible work has been achieved during the pandemic to keep the most vulnerable protected. Despite this latest rise (or reduction) we’ve made major progress this year working with the State, local authorities and NGOs to reduce the number of people homeless from a record total of over 10,000 to 8,484. We are especially encouraged with the lower number of children who are homeless from 3,752 in November last year to 2,452 this month. In addition, Focus Ireland’s prevention and housing work in 2020 means that 1,500 households will be waking up on Christmas morning safe in their homes who would have otherwise been homeless or at risk. This partnership work has to continue with urgency as the country hopefully emerges from Covid-19 next year.”
Mr Dennigan welcomed the continued generosity of the Irish public to Focus Ireland and other homeless charities.
“The public’s continued generosity to Focus Ireland and to other homeless charities is essential in allowing us to continue our work, but it is also a very encouraging reminder that – despite the unprecedented challenges that Covid-19 creates for everyone – people continue to care deeply about other vulnerable human beings.”