Homeless service Depaul sees rise in numbers seeking support

The number of people living on the streets will continue to rise unless the Government puts in place sufficient accommodation for those in need, according to a leading charity.

Homeless support service Depaul Ireland last year witnessed a major increase in the numbers of those accessing its community support services.

A lack of adequate housing is hitting the charity’s ability to resettle homeless people back into the community, according to CEO Kerry Anthony.

Depaul Ireland prevented 450 people from becoming homeless during the year, according to its latest annual report. Of those who were helped by the organisation, 724 were supported through its community and outreach services — a 74% increase on the previous year.

Ms Anthony said the lack of “move on” accommodation being made available in 2013 had also resulted in a 16% drop in service users being resettled in housing.

“We are struggling to cope with demand because of this blockage in the system and we urgently need Government to take action and make accommodation of an adequate standard available,” she said. “Without this support, we will not be able to bring down increasing number of people living on our streets each night.”

Over the course of 2013, Depaul Ireland carried out 7,405 one-to-one support sessions with service users.

The 2013 annual report also reveals that:

-367 beds were made available every night in Ireland and the North;

-237,000 meals were provided in 2013, almost 31,000 more than 2012;

-Over half of those helped by Depaul Ireland — 1,049 people — were living with addiction.

[http://www.depaulireland.org] Depaul website [/url]

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