GIVEN the welcome political response to Ireland’s homelessness crisis, it is alarming to hear from the Peter McVerry Trust which states in its annual report that the “problem of homelessness is now out of control”.
Last year proved to be the trust’s busiest on record, with a 40% increase in the number of people seeking emergency accommodation. Not surprisingly, soaring rents are blamed as the main cause of the surge in demand for its services.
Accurately reflecting the national picture, the total number of people supported in the charity’s housing services continues to rise, proof if it were needed of the urgent need for Housing Minister Coveney to continue his assault on this crisis. In all, the McVerry Trust helped 171 young people move into their own homes, the largest number in a year to date.
Arguably, the best way to tackle homelessness is to provide people with a home of their own. Otherwise, Ireland runs the risk of regarding the homeless situation as something to be tolerated because it has become ‘normal’.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved