Sunday 24 September 2017

Almost half of rough sleepers are families - Latest CSO results

Stock photo
Stock photo
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Almost half of rough sleepers and other homeless people recorded on Census Night last year were families, the latest figures from the CSO reveal.

In its fifth report stemming from the April 24, 2016 census published today,  the CSO found that 43pc of the 6,906 homeless were comprised of 896 families.

Around a third, or 326 families, had one child, followed by 261 families with two children and 131 families with three children. More than a hundred (111) families were comprised of four or more children.

Women were overwhelmingly the head of one-parent families, representing 96pc of the 567 single-parent families. There were 262 couples with children and 67 homeless couples without children.

The vast majority of rough sleepers were men, accounting for 85pc of the 123 people who slept on the streets or elsewhere on Census Night, with Dublin the main location for the bulk of rough sleepers (102).

Less than 42pc or 2,887 people were housed in private emergency accommodation compared with 2,681 people in supported temporary accommodation. Another 1,144 people were housed in temporary emergency accommodation such as hostels.

The latest CSO reveal
The latest CSO reveal

The average age of the homeless was 31, compared to the general population with an average age of 37.

A small percentage (6pc) of the homeless or 413 people were over the age of 60 while 188 people described themselves as retired.

Read More: Homeless children 'forced to eat takeaway food on the floor' in emergency accommodation report finds

More than half or 55pc of the homeless over the age of 15 were single while 9pc of the homeless population were married or remarried.

People who were separated or divorced accounted for 12pc of the homeless population – twice that of the general population.

Just under a third of the homeless or 31pc (899 people) had jobs while more than half of the homeless population (56pc) were in the labour market (899 people).

Students accounted for 8pc of the homeless population (429 people). People looking for their first jobs or otherwise unemployed represented 69pc of the homeless population (2,016), while 12pc of the homeless or 607 people were unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability.

More than a third of the homeless (38pc or 1,606 people)  were not educated beyond the lower secondary level, compared with 955 who had higher secondary-level education. Some 422 of the homeless had third-level education.

Charities have called for action to address the growing problem of homelessness
Charities have called for action to address the growing problem of homelessness

Polish and nationals from the UK represented the largest group of non-nationals in the homeless population at 14pc.

Read More: Charlie Weston: Homeowners who already feel under siege face having further threats knocking at their doors

The majority of homeless people (62pc) said they considered their health to be good or very good compared with 19pc who listed their health as fair to very bad while more than a quarter of the homeless population (27pc) or 1,871 people described themselves as having a disability.

Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician with the CSO said: “This report will help to further improve our understanding of this complex issue, by providing important new information on the social and economic circumstances of homeless persons.

"The collection of data in this important area could not have been achieved without the input and assistance of a broad range of both government and non-government stakeholders, and the CSO would like to thank all concerned for their cooperation in this.”

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