Homelessness remains one of Ireland’s biggest challenges for asylum seekers and those trying to leave Direction Provision, a new study has revealed.
The recently released Irish Refugee Council 2017 ‘Impact Report’ shows that out of 3000 people who were assisted on a wide variety of issues such as education access and policy and legal research, the most “challenging” was accessing accommodation.
“One of the biggest challenges we faced in 2017 was assisting people who were either homeless or at risk of homelessness because they were not able to access Direct Provision accommodation. The reason for this was the lack of free beds in Direct Provision. By the end of the year there were only 134 vacancies and an occupancy rate of 92.6%,” said Claire Tadla, Drop in Centre Coordinator.
“We worked with at least 30 people in this situation, often vulnerable people who have come to Ireland seeking protection and who have a right to be supported by the State while their protection application is being considered. Often these clients had little alternative or recourse to resources and slept rough. This trend has continued in to 2018.”
Reflecting on other positive aspects of the study, Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) said: “Other highlights of the year included running over 20 Youth Cafés for young people from 17 different countries. 95 people were given guidance about education access and 36 people were given financial assistance for course fees, transport costs and course materials. Our housing work secured accommodation for 200 people and we accommodated more than 50 people.
“Our Law Centre gave detailed advice and representation to people in their application for protection; 80% of decisions received in 2017 were successful. The IRC’s resettlement work primarily assisted more than 1500 Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian people. Public engagement grew in 2017 with over 3550 new people engaged.”