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New guide to help homeless access services

By Sarah Mac Donald - 14 October, 2015

In some cases, families and individuals entitled to support have spent time sleeping rough due to a lack of information: Crosscare.

Pic shows Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh with Ciara Mc Grath project leader Crosscare housing and welfare information service and Greg Tierney senior manager for youth services in Crosscare with a copy of the new leaflet. Pic John Mc Elroy.

Pic shows Lord Mayor Clíona Ní Dhalaigh with Ciara Mc Grath project leader Crosscare housing and welfare information service and Greg Tierney senior manager for youth services in Crosscare with a copy of the new leaflet. Pic John Mc Elroy.

As part of their ongoing effort to support the homeless and those at risk of losing their homes, Crosscare has introduced a new information guide for members of the public who come into contact with those at risk of homelessness in our communities.

The new information guide was launched by Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Clíona Ní Dhalaigh, on Monday at the Mansion House.

It will help the general public and anyone working in frontline services, such as doctors, teachers, social workers and public health nurses, direct those facing homelessness to the correct service.

Crosscare is the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

As the homeless situation continues to deteriorate, the agency says that the homeless, and in particular those facing homelessness for the first time, can be overwhelmed by the range of services they need to access to get help.

In some cases, families and individuals entitled to support have spent more time sleeping rough than necessary due to a lack of understanding of basic information such as correct telephone numbers.

This new guide is being distributed widely in leaflet form.

The Lord Mayor, Críona Ní Dhalaigh, described the guide as “an excellent resource to help guide people who unfortunately find themselves either at risk of losing their home or newly homeless.”

The guide has pulled together the contact details and a brief description of the services available to those at risk of either losing their home or those who are sleeping rough.

The complexity of the system is heightened if a family or individual is in the middle of a crisis situation.

Often groups such as doctors, teachers, social workers and public health nurses can identify people at risk but may not have the most up to date information.

By informing the person, or making contact with the services on behalf of the family or person in need, the chances of securing help can increase greatly.

Pic shows Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh listening to a speaker at the launch with a copy of the new leaflet in her hands. Pic John Mc Elroy.

Pic shows Lord Mayor Clíona Ní Dhalaigh listening to a speaker at the launch with a copy of the new leaflet in her hands. Pic John Mc Elroy.

Ciara McGrath from Crosscare’s Housing & Welfare Service said anyone who is homeless or about to lose their home can easily get overwhelmed by services which are supposed to help.

“This guide breaks down the maze of services available and tries to direct people to the correct service for them – sadly in our experience, we find people have spent more time sleeping rough than may have been necessary for the want of basic information.”

“We also know from our work that teachers in schools, GPs or community nurses really want to help people at risk, but even they can find it hard to ring the right number to get the case moving faster.”

To date the guide has been made available to all parishes in the Archdiocese of Dublin, St Vincent De Paul, the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, hospitals and libraries.

Thousands more are due for distribution in the coming weeks and it is planned to make the information available in a number of different languages.

Crosscare has encouraged the general public to familiarise themselves aware of the guide and if they are encountering people who need support to use it as a resource.

Crosscare provide direct accommodation for homeless people in six different locations around Dublin and an advocacy and support service in the city centre.

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