Wednesday, 1 May 2019
New Rise in Numbers of Homeless Children Unacceptable
The Children’s Rights Alliance has responded to yet another increase in the numbers of children experiencing homelessness, which shows there are now 3,821 children living in 1,733 homeless families across the State.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says: “There are now enough homeless children in Ireland to fill both the Gaiety and Bord Gáis Energy Theatres combined – the highest numbers on record. We also now know that homelessness is spreading beyond Dublin with children in the west of the country experiencing the highest increase in child homelessness increasing from 201 in February to 213 in March.
Real children are behind these figures. Children who are homeless miss out on almost everything in life – a place to play, relax, do their homework, eat their meals and sleep. Home should be warm, secure and safe. Homeless accommodation does not provide this for a child. Every aspect of their life is affected and this loss can extend across their childhood and adolescence, impacting on their health, wellbeing, relationships and life chances.
There are solutions and the time is long overdue for the Government to act now to redirect investment away from short-term solutions like family hubs and into long-term public housing. Housing should be provided by local authorities, voluntary housing bodies or other not-for-profit entities. We are also calling for the right to housing to be enshrined in the Constitution as recommended by the Constitutional Convention in 2014. ”
Note for Editors:
• Tanya Ward is available for interview.
• As part of our No Child 2020 campaign, the Children’s Rights Alliance is calling for the Government to legislate to ensure a child’s best interests informs any decision about where to accommodate them and their family. The legislation should clearly time-limit the use of emergency accommodation for families with children. For more see here
• The Children’s Rights Alliance 'Home Works' report on the impact of homelessness on children’s education can be found here