Number of Children Experiencing Homelessness Continues to Rise
Barnardos remains disturbed that the Government’s most recent homelessness figures released today show the numbers of children and families who are homeless are continuing to rise. There are now a record 2,895 children registered as homeless and 1,365 families. These are the highest numbers ever recorded. In total there were 7,941 adults and children registered as homeless in June. This continues to remain a crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Barnardos Head of Advocacy, June Tinsley said “Yet again we see an upwardly trend in the numbers of children and families experiencing homelessness. While we acknowledge the reduction in the number of families being accommodated in hotels and B&Bs since March, month on month little progress has been achieved. In May, 647 families were in such accommodation and in June this figure had fallen to 638. This demonstrates that the number of families entering homelessness remains higher than those exiting. A net decrease of just nine families is extremely disappointing and disheartening.
“Each day in Barnardos services across Ireland we see the impact that homelessness is having on children. We watch the mental and emotional wellbeing of children deteriorate as their hopes of escaping homelessness fade. We meet mothers and fathers acutely aware that their children are experiencing a childhood deprived of play because their entire home is a hotel room. We see the physical impacts of not being able to access adequate nutritious meals due to the transient nature of homeless accommodation.”
June Tinsley concluded “Last week the Ombudsman for Children’s Office highlighted that cases referred to them in relation to housing policy and practice frequently show that the best interests of children are ignored. As the Department of Housing review the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, it is critical that they redouble their efforts to ensure that children’s rights and needs are realised.”
Earlier this year Barnardos published a briefing paper on the Faces behind the Figures of Child Homelessness; www.barnardos.ie/housing