Helping those in need: Charity at home

AS we ponder and fret about the refugee crisis along Europe’s southern borders and worry for the safety of migrant families, we must not forget the refugee crisis on our own doorstep.

The extent of Ireland’s homelessness was exposed yesterday by the Irish Council of Social Housing which says that the culture of NIMBYism (not in my back yard) has to be challenged to combat the cycle of families ending up in hostels and hotels for emergency stays.

About 100,000 households are on waiting lists for a house with more than 600 families in emergency accommodation. There are 203 in homeless accommodation and 404 in hotels in Dublin alone. The same problem persists in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway as well as in smaller towns.

According to the council, 10,000 homes need to be supplied every year by government, councils and voluntary organisations. That is an enormous challenge for government, local authorities, charities and the public at large.

Charity begins at home and, while it doesn’t end there, what is happening here must not be ignored.

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