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McVerry Trust expects client numbers to double

By Sean Ryan - 19 November, 2015

homeless 2Leading homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust (PMVT) has said it expects the number of clients it deals with to almost double this year.

The charity said that it expects to deal with 7,500 clients this year.

Speaking at the launch the PMVT annual report, CEO Pat Doyle, said this year’s client numbers would break all records and would double the number of people assisted by the charity just two years ago.

Last year the PMVT worked with almost 4,460 participants across the services, an increase of 24% on the number supported in 2013.

He said that situation has worsened throughout 2015.

“There are up to 80 families a month now coming through. We are doing more with a lot more people this year than last year.”

Writing in the annual report, the charity’s founder, Fr Peter McVerry SJ said, “In over 35 years of working with homeless people, I have never seen the situation as bad as it is today. By the end of 2014, we were seeing 40 or 50 families each month presenting as homeless, compared to seven or eight in normal times.”

He continued, “These families are being accommodated in B&Bs or hotels, where the whole family live in one room, with no facilities to cook a meal, no space for the children to play or study, often a long distance from the children’s school and having had to abandon any pets they may have been attached to.”

The PMVT has recently increased its services, opening a facility in Co Kildare, while more homeless beds were made available in the aftermath of the death of Jonathan Corrie almost a year ago.

But Pat Doyle commented, “That is the sadness of it that the flow has not been stemmed.”

The charity also made 5,000 home visits through its Housing With Supports service and opened its fourth residential accommodation service for children out of home and under 18.

Pat Doyle said housing was the most critical issue at present, followed by an urgent need to raise rent supplement, citing the most recent Daft.ie rent report which showed rents in the capital grew by 8.9% in the space of a year.

The PMVT has welcomed initiatives on rent recently introduced by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, but said the urgent need for housing stock meant there needed to be a greater push for refurbishing ‘voids’ around the country and measures to keep people in private rented accommodation.

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