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4000 children were homeless on the last Christmas

Photo by Hunny Taneja from pixabay to The Circular.

Image taken from pixabay for The Circular.

4000 children were homeless on their first-ever Christmas as figures showed a new record of 13,179 people on homeless condition.

A total of 13,179 people were reported officially homeless in Ireland in October 2023 according to figures published by the Department of Housing. 

These new figures indicate that the number of homeless children has increased by 15% with 3,991 children without a proper home to spend Christmas.

All of them stay in emergency accommodations and do not include the rough sleeping figures, asylum seekers or the ones in domestic violence refugees.

These same figures also show an increase of 352 people compared to the previous month and an annual increase of 16% in comparison with the previous year 2022.

FOCUS Ireland an NGO that looks after the rights of homeless people has urged the Government to fix a date for the promised referendum on housing.

The referendum consists of establishing a ‘Right to Housing’ which the organization believes is going to be important to solve the issue.

The organization reminded of the detrimental consequences and traumas that can grow on those children spending their nights in emergency accommodations.

Mike Allen Focus Ireland’s Director of Advocacy said: “is heartbreaking to know that some of these children are only babies and will be spending their first-ever Christmas homeless.”

He added: “Ireland is not a poor country; this should not be happening, and we must always remember that homelessness is not inevitable.”

Allen responsible for the organization’s research and public policies also referred to the government’s housing and homelessness strategy previously implemented ‘Housing for All.’

“As we hit new record levels of family and child homelessness it is clear that ‘Housing for All’ is utterly insufficient to the challenges we face.

A new strategic response to family homelessness is required. Focus Ireland believes a referendum to rebalance the right to private property with a ‘right to housing’ would be a crucial step in removing barriers.”

Allen explained: “Without a right to housing in Irish law or referenced in strategy, individuals and families must resort to arguing tangential procedural rights to protect their right to adequate housing.

The organization emphasized the importance of elevating the ‘Right to Housing’ to a constitutional level since the government would have to commit to it.

@focusirelandcharity

Donate at the link in bio 💛 This Christmas, Belvedere College students will sleep-out to raise much needed funds for homeless services in Ireland. Over 13,000 people are now living in emergency accommodation, please donate what you can. #EndHomelessness #Sleepout #Fundraiser #Ireland #Dublin #Christmas #IrishCharity #HomelessCharity #BelvedereCollege

♬ original sound – Focus Ireland
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Allen added that a such right could provide a legal framework for all of those who are challenging a lack of provision of adequate housing.

Connor Culkin communicator officer mentioned that concrete actions have to be taken after the implementation and successful referendum.

He mentioned: “There should be a dramatic increase in social and affordable housing and that will ensure that homeless figures will reduce”.

On the other hand, the NGO referred to the announcement from the government, in previous months, about the increase of the minimum wage.

Indicating that it welcomes the increase in the minimum wage, however, considers that it yet does not meet the required amount for the current housing situation.

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