Simon Communities report 33% increase in people using their services

The charity says it worked with over 11,000 people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Simon Communities report 33% increase in people using their services

Image: Photocall Ireland

The Simon Communities are reporting a significant rise in demand for their services.

The charity's 2016 annual report says more than 11,000 people used their services - marking an increase of 33% on the previous year.

It comes as more than 8,000 men, women and children are in emergency accommodation - with Simon Communities highlighting that "many thousands more living with housing insecurity".

The charity's national spokesperson Niamh Randall says everyone deserves a home, and that 2017 has seen Ireland housing and homelessness crisis 'continue to worsen'.

She pointed out that housing is a basic human right, and that those who find themselves without a home can also experience challenges when it comes to areas such as health, education and privacy.

She observed: “Ensuring that we never experience a crisis such as this again is a key priority for the Simon Communities. The State must start looking at the housing and homeless crisis from a human rights based approach.

"We need the State, in conjunction with Local Authority and Approved Housing Bodies, to build social and affordable housing across all tenure types within sustainable communities nationwide; to prevent more people from becoming homeless; and to address the complex or multiple needs that can be a cause or consequence of homelessness." 

She added: "There must a concerted focus on preventing people from losing the homes that they have."