Monday 26 February 2018

'Dramatic rise' in number of women left homeless

Simon’s Niamh Randall. Photo: Jason Clarke
Simon’s Niamh Randall. Photo: Jason Clarke

Gavin White

Some 42pc of all homeless people in Ireland are women, new figures have revealed.

They will be looking at the winter with fear and trepidation, according to the Simon Community.

The figures have put us above the European average, with women constituting between 20pc and 33pc of homeless in most European countries.

The Simon Community's Niamh Randall said many women have ended up without a home as a result of childhood adversity.

She told the Irish Independent that "unless we break the cycle" the high percentage would continue for years to come. "The key thing is the lack of support when women are coming out of rental accommodation and into homelessness," she said.

Ms Randall said there was a huge "stigma and shame" as well as "a sense of failure" for some of the women. Some 70pc of female participants in a homeless survey by the charity had children. Ms Randall said women were "very vulnerable" to sexual assault and violent attacks while homeless.

Dr Paula Mayock, from the School of Social Work and Social Policy, at Trinity College Dublin, helped compile the research and said the figures showed a hidden homelessness.

The research revealed a large number of single homeless women are mothers, separated from their children.

Dr Maycock said the figures "have risen dramatically" since initial figures of 33pc in the CSO in 2011.

Irish Independent

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