Monday 5 December 2016

Do your job and tackle rising rents to help homeless, Sr Stan tells politicians

Laura Larkin

Published 14/11/2016 | 02:30

Sr Stan says something needs to be done on rising rent costs
Sr Stan says something needs to be done on rising rent costs

A leading campaigner has called for immediate action to stem the flow of families into homelessness ahead of the Christmas season.

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Sr Stan, who has worked with the homeless community for many years, said the Government must address climbing rents to stop the number of homeless families increasing.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney has consistently said the Government's new policies on homelessness will need time to work, but Sr Stan said more urgent action was needed.

"Really they have to think about something immediately to stop the flow and secondly they need an immediate response to people, to provide them with a decent place to stay, where they can live with dignity," she said.

"It's about rent really and something needs to be done about that. Otherwise the numbers will just increase and increase. A year ago I was here saying this.

"This is the job of the politicians, that's what we elect them for."

Focus Ireland is predicting that by Christmas there will be 2,500 children living in hotel rooms and B&Bs.

Read more: More children homeless than ever before, Focus Ireland charity reports

Read more: Desperate mum faces third Christmas in emergency accommodation with son

"It's not that they are in a B&B, they are in a room. They have one room and there might be three, four or five children. They have no place to play, no place to cook. They don't mix with others. It isn't like having a room in a hotel. It is awful," she told the Irish Independent.

"I hear people say 'sure aren't they grand', but it's not like you or I taking a room in a hotel. It's totally different; go back to the worst days of the tenements where you had all of the families living in one building.

"At least they had a dignity of a community. They knew each other, they grew up with each other.

"This is totally different they are in rooms separated from other people.

"It's quite different."

Sr Stan was speaking at the launch of Focus Ireland's Christmas appeal as the charity revealed its family team services have supported 230 families and almost 450 children in Dublin to secure a home this year, with the help of the homeless executive.

People can donate at www.focusireland.ie or 1850 204 205.

Irish Independent

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