Latest Figures Highlight Alarming Trend of Homelessness Amongst Younger Age Groups

Those aged 24 and under are now the largest group in emergency accommodation 

Dublin 24th November 2023: Figures released today show that Ireland’s youngest are being disproportionately disadvantaged by homelessness. The latest Homeless report shows that young people – both children and young adults aged 24 and under, represent the largest age demographic of people in emergency accommodation across the country. 

5,548 people – equating to 42% of people overall – were in emergency accommodation in October 2023.  The situation is particularly bleak in Dublin, with the percentage rising to 44% in the capital. This means that the children and young people behind these statistics are facing a huge level of uncertainty and vulnerability at a time in their lives which is crucial for setting up the developmental and educational foundation of their future. 

Catherine Kenny, CEO of Dublin Simon, reflects on the alarming statistics, stating, “The vulnerability of young people in homelessness is particularly concerning. At a time when young people should be full of hope about their future prospects, it is disheartening to see our youngest people struggling with homelessness, and in some cases taking to the streets, as a result of things like economic challenges, family conflict, ageing out of the care system, or addiction.” 

Dublin, with 28% of the overall population of Ireland, bears the disproportionate burden of 74% of all homeless individuals in Ireland. Frontline teams at Dublin Simon Community are now dealing with up to 300 people in temporary accommodation or on the streets in the run up to Christmas. 

“The under-resourced charity sector faces the daunting task of again protecting and supporting the most vulnerable on the streets and in temporary accommodation during Christmas. At Dublin Simon our outreach and emergency accommodation teams are committed to working with the most vulnerable people during this cold winter weather. Our current appeal tagline, “Christmas isn’t Christmas when you are homeless,” resonates deeply.” 

To those on the streets and in temporary accommodation, every day – even Christmas Day – feels the same, underscoring the critical need for community support and donations at this time of year.  

“As Dublin continues to grapple with this escalating crisis, Dublin Simon urges increased awareness, empathy, and support from the public and policymakers this Christmas to create sustainable solutions for young people experiencing homelessness. Everyone deserves not only to survive, but to thrive.” 

View the latest homeless report