Homelessness in Ireland: A National Crisis

There are a lot of homeless people in Dublin right now.  But you probably already knew that.  Especially if you have been on the internet in the past 30 days.  

This is a crisis.  The numbers are staggering.  News providers have published statistics.  Politicians have weighed in their plans to resolve it.  Charities have worked harder than ever to get those affected back on their feet.  

Here at LIKECHARITY we want to help you make sense of all this.  We also want to let you know how you can help.

The Facts:

According to Minister of Housing Simon Conveney, 228 were sleeping rough last week in Dublin.  Coveney says these figures are shocking.  The rate is continuing to grow.  The problem is not specific to Dublin, all of Ireland is affected by this crisis.  This has been a problem that has snowballed and is still gaining momentum.  Since 2015, only one of ten homeless individuals have been provided housing.  

Historically, homeless have flocked to Dublin due to its excellent support systems.  This crisis is something the city has not yet experienced.

Focus Ireland, a charity aimed to end homelessness, reports  that 6,525 people are homeless today in Ireland.   This is bad.  In fact that number has been described as the worst ever recorded.  Vulture funds and poor economic conditions continue to lead families and individuals to seek emergency accommodations or worse, sleep in the street.

What is being done?

Coveney believes this issue is due to lack of housing.  The good news is that last week the government pledged to provide 1,500 rapid housing units in an attempt to provide shelter for those sleeping rough.  Coveney also plead for empty convents and presbyteries to be offered as lodging for homeless in Dublin.  Churches have been asked to offer empty properties to help ease the country’s crisis.  

There are also some unorthodox ideas to solve the issue with lack of housing.  Former Dublin Lord Mayor Mary Freehill has suggested using ships to accommodate destitute individuals.  These “floatels” have been used for cities which lack the room to accommodate oil workers.  Although this solution may sound intriguing it is little more than a dream at this point.  

Who is helping?

Merchants Quay and Focus Ireland are two charities that do brilliant work in supporting the homeless of Dublin and Ireland, respectively.  Their good deeds do not end there, they also focus on preventing individuals from becoming homeless and offer rehabilitation support.  Check out their websites here and here.

As with any crisis, there are ways for you to help.

Whether it is volunteering some of your time or making a donation, your support can help both of these fantastic charities continue their work and help more people.  If you want to make a difference visit their websites to find ways you can help.  Additionally, anyone owning a vacant property or building can contact the Department of Housing.  As colder weather approaches, we need to look to ourselves to fight this problem.  Christmas season usually brings out the best in each other, so this season let’s help those who need it most.