Awareness of homelessness

 

Sir, – The National Housing Conference 2040 – Delivering the Vision for Housing, held in Dublin Castle from May 20th to 21st, highlighted the reason why so many people are confused and frustrated by the lack of awareness around the issues of homelessness and the current housing deficit.

Many of the people taking part in the conference clearly came from the world of architecture and planning.

While I don’t doubt the value of their perspectives, where were the many other agencies that are required to bring about solutions?

There continues to be no general understanding of the difference between the current lack of housing and homelessness. The structural causes for the current lack of housing and the social causes underpinning homelessness, as evident on our streets, continue to be conflated, thus confusing the public debate. This allows various Government agencies off the hook, and more importantly adds to the frustration and disillusionment among the general populace that a solution to either problem will ever be found.

Huge sums of money continue to be spent on the issues around housing and homelessness while the views of those working at the coalface appear to be ignored. Government departments need to work together, embrace a holistic strategy, and listen to frontline workers if anything is to change for the better.

Until those with hands-on experience and those who can put bricks and mortar together are involved in the “debate”, the problems will remain and even grow while individual human beings continue to suffer. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.