3,267 Children LOST to Homelessness
Barnardos children’s charity is calling for a line to be finally drawn as statistics show the numbers of children living in emergency accommodation are increasing again after a brief respite over the Christmas months. A total of 3,267 children were living in emergency accommodation in January, which was an increase of 188 on the previous month and a 36% increase on the same time last year.
Last week the charity launched its new LOST CHILDHOOD Campaign which highlights that 1 in 7 children in Ireland are lost to homelessness, to poverty and to neglect. The children’s charity, which works with more than 15,000 families annually, wants to engage individuals, other organisations and the Government to tackle this injustice. They proposed a range of solutions that if actioned in the short-term, will change the lives of children in Ireland forever.
Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said: “It is a tragedy that 3,267 children and 1,517 families are registered as homeless. These children are living in emergency accommodation without the space they need to live, play and grow. No child should worry about whether they will wake up in the same bed tomorrow as they did today. We have launched our new LOST CHILDHOOD campaign because enough is enough. We as a society have a responsibility to ensure every child can reach their potential and we are failing these 3,267 children by not meeting that responsibility. It is time we prioritise children and childhood.”
Barnardos Head of Advocacy June Tinsley said: “Childhood is short, but the experiences we have in these few short years shape us for the rest of our lives. 3,267 children are registered as homeless. That’s 3,267 childhoods lost to the insecurity and anxiety of homelessness. These numbers do not include the thousands more children and families who are experiencing hidden homelessness, living with extended family or friends in unsuitable and inappropriate accommodation. We are calling on the Government to guarantee that no child spends more than 6 months in emergency accommodation and substantially increase the building of social housing to provide long-term solutions for children and family experiencing homelessness.”