Sunday 18 February 2018

Homelessness among 18-24 group doubled in three years, says charity

Sister Stan Kennedy, founder of the charity Focus Ireland
Sister Stan Kennedy, founder of the charity Focus Ireland

Ian Begley

The number of homeless 18-24 year olds has almost doubled since 2014, according to Focus Ireland.

Recent figures from the Department of Housing show that 826 people in that age group accessed State homeless services.

The equivalent figure in June 2014 was just 418, according to official statistics.

However, according to Focus Ireland, the real total this year is much higher. That is because the figure of 826 does not include young people living in unstable and temporary arrangements, such as staying on friends' couches.

The homeless charity held a major conference on youth homelessness yesterday in Limerick in an effort to highlight the issue.

The charity's founder, Sr Stan Kennedy, said this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency if we were to avoid condemning many young people to lives of marginalisation and unfulfilled promise.

She continued: "The terrible issues of both street homelessness and family homelessness, and the affect on children, are well documented, with 8,160 people in this unacceptable situation.

"We are providing homes for vulnerable young people, along with vital support to help them sustain their tenancies as they make the transition into adulthood."

Sr Stan added: "Young people have already paid a high price for the austerity years and many have become homeless and marginalised."

Irish Independent

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