We are driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong. We work with people who need support to avoid becoming homeless and who need help to end their experience of homelessness and move into a safe and secure home. From the very beginning, our work has been rooted in deep listening to people, learning about the problems and risks they face and pointing to where the solutions lie. This approach provides the bedrock on which we stand.
Making sure that we can prevent homelessness before it happens is one of the most effective ways we can tackle the crisis. When we talk about ‘prevention’ we mean working with young people, adults and families who are facing homelessness to ensure they keep their homes.
In recent times, most people are becoming homeless for primarily economic reasons (not enough money to afford secure accommodation) but there are certain situations where the risk is higher:
- Growing up in care
- Leaving hospital/psychiatric care
- Being discriminated against in the housing market
- Living in unsafe, or emergency accommodation
The number of homeless families has increased by 380% since October 2014. More than one in three people in emergency accommodation is a child. According to Focus Ireland research and analysis, the number of families becoming homeless had their last stable home in the private rented sector. The crisis in this sector is the immediate cause of their homelessness – landlords selling up or being repossessed, shortage of properties to rent, scarcity of properties accepting rent supplement, and high rents.
The United Nations has been active in highlighting homelessness as a violation of human rights. The right to housing is recognised by the United Nations in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Homelessness is a problem that can be solved together..p