The North West Simon Community has warmly welcomed the commitment of the Government to end long term homelessness in Ireland by 2016. But it has also revealed that seeing an increase in the numbers of people turning to their services in Leitrim, Sligo & Donegal.
Claire McTiernan, CEO of North West Simon Community said, “This commitment makes clear, that even in this era of austerity it remains absolutely unacceptable that people should be left homeless for month after month and year after year.”
“Our hope is that this ambitious goal will reignite the National Homeless Strategy; re- energise all key players involved in its delivery and give renewed hope to people experiencing homelessness in Ireland today. But hope alone is not enough. We now need a detailed roadmap setting out clear milestones. With up to 50 people turning to homeless services in Dublin alone each week there needs to be a very significant step up in the number of homes made available for people who are homeless if we are to cope with this level of demand, reduce the overall numbers of people who are long term homeless and meet this 2016 target”.
Claire McTiernan continued “We are keen to play whatever role we can in ensuring that realistic plans are put in place to make this happen. Undoubtedly this will involve the development of imaginative policy responses as well as the allocation and reconfiguration of the resources required to meet this target”.
“In Simon we are seeing an increase in the numbers of people turning to our services all around the Country and Sligo, Leitrim & Donegal are no exception. We are doing everything possible to respond; we have put extra beds in our shelters; we are opening up new services, sometimes with little or no funding from government, and we are developing new ways of providing housing with support for people who are homeless. The solution to homelessness is access to appropriate housing with supports, which is clearly recognised in the Government’s Homelessness Policy Statement. People need to be supported to move out of homelessness for good but this is next to impossible without access to affordable, quality housing.” Claire Mc Tiernan concluded “It is essential that the strategy on homelessness gets back on target if real progress is to be made. Advancements have been made in the last decade in addressing homelessness; we know what works and we now just need just need the support to do it”.