Often when people think of a homeless person they think of someone sleeping on the sidewalk.
The fact of the matter is that most people who are homeless are not sleeping rough in the streets. They’re couch surfing in friends’ or relatives’ homes and living out of suitcases. Many of these people could not keep up with their rent or were forced out after their landlord sold the property.
The Society of Vincent Paul, or SVP, has worked to spread awareness about this problem.
There are over 1,100 homeless families in Ireland right now and SVP believes this is a social issue, not a financial issue. With more regulations on private housing and more support for social housing.
SVP created a “Hidden Homeless Real Estate Agency” pop-up which was meant to show the public first-hand the poor conditions that hundreds of Irish families have to live in every day. It had simulated displays of overpriced flats with poor conditions as well as hotel rooms, which many families have to revert to using out of necessity. The idea for the exhibition was to spread awareness of the issues with the private rent sector and fight for better-priced housing.
The displays were live from Oct. 17th to 18th in South Dublin.
SVP asked passersby to walk through the exhibition then to sign a petition, this petition will be sent to Minister of Housing Simon Coveney. The petition called for more social housing and further reform on the private sector. 1,400 people have signed the petition as of Nov. 21st.
SVP’s Head of Social Justice John-Mark McCafferty explained that this success was due to a joint effort. In the Company of Huskies- a creative agency- suggested the idea to spread awareness on housing rates in Dublin. Daft.ie, Ireland’s largest property website, have also played a huge role in the campaign.
You can visit SVP’s Hidden Homeless website here.