Homelessness hits record high as charity describes situation as ‘national trauma’

Homelessness hits record high as charity describes situation as ‘national trauma’

The number of people in emergency accommodation increased by 234 people last month, with the total number just under 10,000.

The latest homeless figures released by the Government reveal that 9,987 people were in emergency accommodation in January – a new record high.

That breaks down as 6,363 adults and 3,624 children.

Merchants Quay Ireland, the national homeless and addiction charity, has today said that the latest homeless statistics represent an ongoing national trauma.

It also warned that the figures do not include the latest rough sleeper count, which showed a further 156 people are homeless in Dublin. Combined, this brings the total number of people homeless in Ireland to 10,143.

CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland Paula Byrne warned that “homelessness and addiction are combining with devastating effects”. She said the latest figures reveal that Ireland is “experiencing its biggest social crisis in generations.

“The high level of homelessness, as shown in today’s figures, coupled with Ireland’s ongoing drug epidemic, is causing a deep and widespread trauma.

“When people in addiction are forced to spend longer and longer in homelessness, their addiction and mental health can worsen. At Merchants Quay, we’ve seen a big increase in demand for our mental health services and, nationally, the number of people who are homeless while being treated for addiction has doubled,” she said.

Meanwhile, Depaul – the cross-border charity working in homelessness and homelessness prevention – expressed disappointment at the figures.

Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony said: “the rise in both adults and children is disappointing given that last month’s figures showed a decrease in the numbers.

“The numbers suggest we need to do more in our efforts to stop individuals and families entering emergency accommodation. That requires input and action from all agencies and departments and we must ensure we are doing everything in our power to bring the numbers down,” she insisted.