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Barnardos children's charity is horrified at the increase in the number of children who were homeless in February 2018. A total of 3,755 children were living in emergency accommodation, which was an increase of 488 on the previous month and a 47% increase on the same time last year. The public can join Barnardos to campaign for political change at www.barnardos.ie/lost.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy Barnardos said: "This is the largest jump in child homelessness in a single month we have seen in two years. With the cost of rent continuing to rise across the country, it is unsurprising more families find themselves unable to afford market rents and end up experiencing homelessness as a result. Also families remain trapped in homeless accommodation for long periods as there is nowhere affordable to move onto.
"The Government must accept that their current strategies aren't working and take action to stem the tide of child homelessness. Greater preventative measures such as rent certainty and security of tenure must be implemented as an emergency response.
"It is a tragedy that 3,755 children and 1,739 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 launched our 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 3,755 children by not meeting that responsibility. It is time we prioritise children and childhood.
"Childhood is short, and the experiences we have in these few short years shape us for the rest of our lives. The Government is damaging the lives of these 3,755 children who are registered as homeless as well as those thousands more who are experiencing hidden homelessness, living with extended family or friends in unsuitable and inappropriate accommodation, who are not officially counted as homeless."
Join Barnardos LOST Childhood Campaign at www.barnardos.ie/lost to campaign for children and call for political change.