Charity 'hoping to turn tide' as hundreds helped out of homelessness
The Peter McVerry Trust has had a record-breaking year after lifting hundreds of people out of homelessness and helping thousands more.
In its 2017 annual report published today, the charity revealed the number of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and who sought support was the highest in its 34-year history.
Some 313 people left homelessness behind while 4,791 people in total were supported by the organisation through services including emergency accommodation to rent advice. It represents an increase of 8pc on the previous year.
While more people have been helped than in previous years, the charity's CEO, Pat Doyle, said there was more work to be done if people were to leave homelessness for good.
"We are of the view that we need to do a lot more and we need to do it faster, and I am including the trust in that too. We want to see people leave homeless accommodation and stay out of it, so we are trying to bring in more apartments than beds," he said.
The charity will today launch a new social housing complex with 13 units in Dublin's city centre as part of an overall aim to deliver a total of 120 social housing units by the end of the year. "People come into homeless services and become dependent on it, and they might lose three or four years of their life," he said.
"Through housing first we have an 85pc success rate of getting people out of homelessness for good. In hostels it's a 40pc success rate.
"It is complex but I am hoping to turn the tide," he added.