However, Focus Ireland warned of “potential increases in the coming months” and called on the Government to reintroduce the eviction ban and rent freeze to protect people fully during COVID-19.
Focus Ireland and its partners have moved 80 families with 150 children out of homelessness since the start of the COVID-19 restrictions, while the Peter McVerry Trust has housed 26 people since the virus struck and expects more to move soon.
Fr Peter McVerry said it is because of their safety and comradeship that so many people who are homeless elect to live in tents.
“We need to remember that this homelessness and housing crisis is not a normal situation, and should not be seen as acceptable on any level” – Simon Communities.
The research allows the Peter McVerry Trust to move beyond anecdotal reports from young men who use homeless services about how they fared in the education system and it will help influence the future education strategies of the State.
Although many of Ireland’s homeless have phones, few can afford data all the time.
Brother Kevin said that there had been very generous donations from the public over the last year and the Pope’s visit had been a huge boost.
Students at Dublin school are hopeful they can match last year's donations which raised almost €200,000 for Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust and Home Again.
The Reusing Dublin Project uses an app that enables and encourages the public to log details of suspected vacant or derelict buildings across Dublin that can be investigated and potentially returned to use for social housing and a means of ending homelessness in the city.
“Today was a step in the right direction, but we have a long way to go” – SVP.
Fr Peter McVerry backs action of ‘Take back the city’ group to “highlight the failure of government action”.
“The lack of reliable data, from construction generally to social housing to homelessness, is unacceptable and provides a poor base for policy-making” – Social Justice Ireland (SJI).
The new figures show that the number of homeless increased by 6% in one month alone from 8,587 in December 2017 to 9,104 in January 2018.
“The weather forecast for the coming days is expected to be exceptionally cold and to include a significant snowfall. This bad weather will affect and frighten many people across our country.”
Emergency accommodation is more expensive and less effective than Housing First which receives less than 1% of the national annual homeless budget in Ireland. In other countries up to 50% of the homeless services budget must be invested in the Housing First model.
“Each of us has an option, to respect the dignity of all in our society through our actions or to choose to ignore this suffering.”
Focus Ireland warned that these two new sets of figures clearly show that the homeless crisis is continuing to deepen with less than five weeks to Christmas.
Thousands of homeless children have become the norm and no longer shocks us. We have lost our sense of outrage,” - Fr Peter McVerry.
With the help of volunteers and several homeless charities the Capuchin Day Centre stayed open for the duration of the storm and offered extra 120 beds for rough sleepers.
Social Justice Ireland (SJI) stated that Budget 2018 has given modest improvements for some but failed to get to grips with the scale of the crises needing to be addressed.
If the current rate of people becoming homeless continues, there will be 8,300 people living in homeless accommodation when the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe announces details of Budget 2018.
“The rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases, and our worry is that we will see even more households losing their homes as the situation worsens”, Pat Doyle, CEO, Peter McVerry Trust.
Peter McVerry Trust hopes to see rapid-build housing play a bigger role in addressing homelessness in the future.
The study, carried out by Dr Paula Mayock and Sarah Parker of Trinity’s School of Social Work and Social Policy, highlights causes of homelessness among young people, including family breakdown, leaving State care, early school leaving and lack of access to employment.
“Given the sector added over 220 emergency beds in Dublin in late 2016 and has worked constantly to increase housing ‘move ons’ we had hoped that the figure would not be on the increase” – Pat Doyle, CEO.
Local authorities need to become involved in the collation of data on empty properties and derelict sites of all types and sizes – Brian Friel, National Director of Housing with Peter McVerry Trust.
Members of the public formed a human chain around the building in support of those inside, chanting “homes for the homeless”.
During 2016, Crosscare, the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin, provided 127,750 bed nights to over 1,600 people in six residences for people experiencing homelessness in the capital.
“Ireland has an international commitment to spend 0.7 percent of national income on helping the world’s poorest people, yet this budget will bring us further from this commitment” – Trócaire.