The rising number of homeless children is of “significant concern”, the CEO of the Simon Community has said.
Today, the Department of Housing revealed homelessness had hit another record high, with 12,441 registered homeless people in May.
Included in the figure are 3,699 children and Catherine Kenny said homelessness would have a hugely negative impact on each and every one of them.
“The number of families is very concerning because that obviously brings with it 2,800 children in Dublin alone,” she told The Hard Shoulder.
“That’s a significant concern; it’s a traumatic experience for anybody but particularly for the children.
“It’s just coming into summer; they should be carefree and looking forward to the two months on holiday and out enjoying themselves.
“They shouldn’t find themselves in a situation where they can see the stress on their parents and they can experience it themselves.”
Ms Kenny described the figures as overall “incredibly disappointing” and said she was “very concerned”.
She added it was vital that the Department of Housing need to make urgent changes to stop the figures rising even further.
“The key piece is to continue looking to deliver housing stock and housing opportunities for people,” she said.
“I think we need to look at our tenancy sustainment services - make sure they’re fully resourced to work with people to sustain their housing.
“We need to focus on homeless prevention to make sure [community efforts are] wide reaching to end homelessness.
“And we also need to look at making sure the housing supply is all types of housing is delivered in a timely manner.
“We’re really struggling for accommodation in this country.”
Following the release of the figures, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said they had increased by a smaller amount that in previous months.
“That’s no consolation for those who are entering into emergency accommodation,” he said.
“But thankfully, we’re seeing more people exiting emergency accommodation into permanent, social homes.
“It [housing] remains the biggest challenge; the way to fundamentally address this is through increased supply.”
In May last year, there were 10,325 homeless people in Ireland - meaning the number has increased by 20.5% in the space of a year.
Main image: A child. Picture by: Alamy.com