70% of people supported by Focus Ireland last year were families 

70% of people supported by Focus Ireland last year were families 

1,150 households were supported out of homelessness and 640 households avoided becoming homeless in the first place. File image. 

Families accounted for more than 70% of people supported out of homelessness by Focus Ireland last year. 

The charity helped a record 1,790 households to avoid or leave homelessness in 2019, according to its annual report.

There were 1,150 households supported out of homelessness and 640 that avoided becoming homeless in the first place. 

Pat Dennigan, chief executive of Focus Ireland said the housing crisis must stay a priority in the Dáil. 

“Homelessness and the housing crisis were one of the main issues for voters in February’s general election. This message must not be lost during the Covid-19 crisis," he said.

"We need the new Government to recognise the scale of this problem and to put in place the solutions needed to deliver lasting solutions which build new homes and communities and provide vulnerable people with the support they need. If there is one Covid-19 lesson that we can learn from 2020 and apply to the future, it is the value of partnership."

The charity reports that: 

  • 14,200 engaged with the charity's services, 425 of which were young people. 
  • 4,300 children were supported by the charity, 410 of which were supported by services outside of Dublin. 
  • Over 5,000 people sought advice and information from Focus Ireland. 

In Cork, 30 young people engaged with the Cork Youth Housing scheme. 

That is linked to the Great Train programme which provides education and training for marginalised people and which 15 people participated in last year. Many of these young people successfully took up employment for the first time or successfully re-entered employment.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the report, President and Founder of the organisation Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy said: "I really do believe Covid-19 can be a turning point in the fight against homelessness as the government can learn from the effectiveness of rent freezes and the ban on evictions."

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