New figures reveal almost 10,000 people homeless in Ireland at Christmas
1,728 families and 3,811 children are among those listed in the latest report.
New figures compiled by the Department of Housing paint an increasingly grim picture of homelessness in Ireland, with a record total of just under 10,000 people recorded as homeless as Christmas week approaches.
The report lists a total of 9,968 people living in homeless accommodation in November, an increase of 244 from the previous month.
Of those numbers, 6,157 individual adults are listed, while 1,728 families have been identified along with 3,811 dependents.
The specific increase of 244 people refers to 158 adults and 86 dependents.
There was an increase of 20 families in total, one based in the capital and the remaining 19 listed nationwide.
Focus Ireland responded to the data, contending that a shift in government policy is "vital" in 2019.
"This is wrong and must change," noted the charity.
A record total of just under 10,000 officially homeless with only 5 days to Christmas. Shockingly 1 child became homeless every 4 hours in Dublin alone last month. This is wrong & must change. Shift in govt policy vital in 2019.
— FocusIreland (@FocusIreland) December 20, 2018
Commenting on the figures, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy said:
“The increase in adults in emergency accommodation was anticipated as we moved rough sleepers off the streets and into the new beds provided from additional money made available," said the Minister.
"No increase is welcome but at least these people are now getting better support and care as we now work to move them into Housing First and other permanent housing solutions.”
Murphy also expressed disappointment with regards to the number of families and children recorded in the report.
“It is very disappointing to see more children in emergency accommodation as we enter into Christmas week," he said.
"I am glad, though, that for a very large number of families, they will not be spending this Christmas in a hotel thanks to the dedicated efforts of all involved and the continued rollout of new Family Hubs.
“I want to assure all individuals and families experiencing homelessness that it is an absolute priority for my Department to deliver the housing solutions needed," the Minister continued before promising to increase the delivery of social housing in 2019.
"The Government will also provide increased funding for the provision of homeless services, with a 25% increase in the budget to €146m, to ensure that all individuals and families receive the assistance and support that they require until a home is secured," Murphy concluded.
The full Department of Housing report can be read here.