In Ireland, the Society of St Vincent de Paul receives more than 130,000 calls for assistance a year – about 11 percent more than it did five years ago.
Catholic Bishop of Meath and Church of Ireland Primate focus on the human cost of the homeless crisis in their Christmas messages.
"Brand new children’s books will be distributed in the families we visit, to encourage children to begin enjoying books early and all the benefits that brings."
“Music develops the whole brain, fosters a child's creativity and brings joy and enrichment to a person’s life.” - Joe Sweeney, Society of St Vincent de Paul
Kieran Stafford said it was a sign of Ireland’s standing that the International President of an organisation with members in about 140 countries visited here so early in his 6-year term of office.
The SVP is calling on government to introduce an interest rate cap that reduces the total cost of credit that moneylenders can legally charge.
This is a particularly difficult time for families worrying about upcoming Christmas expenses and getting through the winter months when energy bills are at their highest.
Will the small improvements in supports and services have a meaningful impact on families and children living in poverty? Unfortunately, the answer is NO
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.
“Autumn is a particularly difficult time for families who have just faced back-to-school costs and are worrying about upcoming Christmas expenses and getting through the winter months when energy bills are at their highest,” said SVP.
“Our volunteers are very reliable, which is essential when providing this necessary service. They help build friendly relationships between children and parents living in direct provision with members of the community. Our volunteers add to the good spirit and positive attitude to learning that is created in our homework club” – Jim Walsh, SVP.
“The question which is agitating the world today is a social one. It is a struggle between those who have nothing and those who have too much. It is a violent clash of opulence and poverty which is shaking the ground under our feet.” – SVP founder Frederic Ozanam.
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.
More needs to be done, otherwise too many of our children will spend their childhoods going without basics like secure housing, healthy food and suitable clothing.
“It is my fervent hope that you will go forward from here to bring joy and hope to the life of the Church in your local parish area and beyond,” says Archbishop Neary.
While the transformative policies of Early Childhood Care and Education, social housing provision and energy retrofitting of homes were welcome, according to the society, significantly greater public investment is required over the longer term.
Party urged to make addressing child poverty and the widening gap between rich and poor the first priority of the programme of Government in the next Assembly.