Barnardos: Covid19 Presents More Challenges for Families Living In Emergency Acomodation

The latest release from the Department of Housing shows that the number of children living in homeless accommodation in February 2020 was 3,534.

Posted on Thursday 02 April 2020

1 April 2020 - The latest release from the Department of Housing shows that the number of children living in homeless accommodation in February 2020 was 3,534, a decrease of 40 children compared to figures for January. While a decrease in the number of children living in emergency accommodation is positive, the Covid-19 pandemic presents new challenges for those families experiencing homelessness.

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: “The decrease in the number of children experiencing homelessness in February is welcome but Barnardos is concerned about how families living in emergency accommodation are coping with the restrictions introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During this crisis we are all challenged to adapt our routines and normal ways of life. For families living in emergency accommodation this is extremely difficult. The practicalities of an entire family living in a confined space really come home to bear. How do you self-isolate if one member of the family contracts the virus?
“The restrictions on movement within a 2km radius of your home are also challenging. Previously families would try to escape the confines of a hotel room, by getting out to various community outlets, such as Barnardos, but they can no longer do this.


“We are also conscious of the impact that hoarding is having on vulnerable families. Last week we were contacted by a family who were unable to buy nappies, a basic necessity, because the supermarket shelves were bare.


“We have been really heartened by the state’s response and its ability to put increased resources into our health and social care services during this crisis. But the reality is that the challenges for families living in homeless accommodation are really compounded by the restrictions imposed on us all – and this is why Barnardos has adopted a range of measures to support vulnerable families during this crisis”.


ENDS
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423