Statement from Caoimhe O’Connell, Spokesperson for Dublin Simon Community, in response to the July Homeless Report, released today by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
We are extremely distressed by the ongoing rise in the number of people presenting in emergency accommodation. Last month, we broke a record we never wanted to reach in Dublin and now, devastatingly, the same has happened at a national level. In our fifty years of providing homeless services, the situation has never been this bleak or urgent.
Behind these numbers are people whose physical and mental health is deteriorating as they remain stuck in emergency accommodation with little or no hope for when they might feel the safety and security of “home” again. On the frontline, our staff are struggling to keep our clients motivated and prevent relapses into addiction as social housing remains far from reach and the pool of HAP properties continues to shrink on a daily basis.
There was a shocking 78% decrease in the amount of singles and couples exiting homelessness via HAP properties in Dublin in the first 6 months of 2022, compared to the same period last year. Our emergency services are already seeing a significant increase in older people and working people presenting as homeless for the first time and our fear is that this trend will continue as landlords continue to leave the market at an alarming rate. We are calling on all government departments and agencies to work with us and other NGOs on a crisis plan as a matter of urgency.