Number of homeless people increases by 117 in October to 10,514
Numbers of children in emergency accommodation falls by 47; Rough sleepers down 41%
The Department of Housing released figures showing a 41 per cent decrease in the number of rough sleepers in the State compared to Winter 2018. Photograph: iStock
The number of homeless people in the State has increased again this month by 117 people with a record high of 10,514 people now living in emergency accommodation.
However October figures showa decrease of 47 children in emergency accommodation. This improvement comes after September saw the highest ever number of children in emergency accommodation. The number of homeless children in the State for October is recorded as 3,826.
According to statistics released by the Department of Housing, the overall number of adults recorded to be living in emergency accommodation increased from 10,397 to 10,514 in October.
There were a total of 6,688 homeless adults in the State in October, of which 4,534 were in Dublin. This marks an overall increase of 11.5 per cent since October 2018, when the figure was 5,999.
According to the Department of Housing, the increase in adults was “expected” following the introduction of additional emergency beds recently.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the number of people in emergency accommodation remains “unacceptably high”.
“We must continue to implement every necessary support, whilst also driving the continuing increase in the supply of new homes,” Mr Murphy said.
The Simon Communities called for urgent action from the Government to ensure numbers do not continue to grow into 2020. Spokesman Wayne Stanley said “these declines, while very welcome, are hard to claim as successes in the context of ever-growing numbers.”
“We must not allow ourselves to become immune to the continuing worsening of the housing and homelessness crisis,” Mr Stanley said.
The Department of Housing also released figures showing a 41 per cent decrease in the number of rough sleepers in the State compared to Winter 2018. This winter, a total of 92 persons are confirmed as rough sleeping across the Dublin region compared to 152 in 2018.
Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has “warmly welcomed” the decline in rough sleepers this winter.
Chief executive Pat Doyle said they were “ encouraged to see such a significant drop in the official number of people sleeping rough”.
“Obviously, there is much more to do given we have 92 people sleeping rough and Peter McVerry Trust continues to work to progress much needed emergency accommodation for people who are sleeping rough across Dublin,” he added.
Commenting on the decrease of children now living without a home, Barnardos chief executive Suzanne Connolly said she remains very concerned about “the unbearable reality facing children experiencing homelessness.”
“Barnardos is worried about the many families who don’t have family supports — who are emotionally depleted, socially isolated or facing complex challenges in their lives such as mental health and addiction. Families are facing into spending Christmas in emergency accommodation, and sadly we know for many it won’t be their first,” Ms Connolly said.