Sunday 18 February 2018

Homeless crisis: Increase in babies born without a roof over their head

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Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Charity Depaul Ireland witnessed 14 babies being born into homelessness last year.

At its annual report today, the homeless support organisation said it saw a 10pc increase in the number of families in services across Northern Ireland and the Republic. 

In total, 18 babies were born to mothers using Depaul's services in 2016, with 14 of them south of the Border.

In 2015 the all-island figure was 19, in 2014 it was nine and there were 13 in 2013.

Depaul chief, Kerry Anthony, spoke about the number of babies now being born to mothers without a roof.

"Certainly yes, we're seeing children being born into our services.

"The impact obviously on children is very severe. We hear a lot from teachers as well about the fact that children are struggling in the education system.

"They're falling asleep, they're having to travel right across town. It's just a difficult situation," she said.

The charity said it helped 203 people move on from its services to somewhere more suitable during the year. 

It also established a 65-bed emergency hostel on Little Britain Street, in Dublin's city centre.

Addressing the launch, Ms Anthony spoke about the three homeless people who passed away in recent days.

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