Youth homelessness is at a crisis point in Ireland. The most recent figures show that there are currently 3,755 homeless children in Ireland. More than 1 in 3 of those in emergency accommodation is now a child. At the end of December 2017 there were 818 young people (adults under 25) living in emergency homeless accommodation. By the end of February 2018 this figure had increase to 938 young people living in emergency accommodation in Ireland. This represents a 14% increase in two months. (Figures taken from Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government Homelessness Report, February 2018)
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, recently described the current homeless crisis in Ireland as a “national emergency”. The ISPCC have warned of the immediate safety concerns for children in emergency accommodation and the devastating impact of homelessness on children’s ability to learn and develop.
Young people become homeless for a range of reasons – it is rare that any one event is the cause. Triggers might include conflicts within the family; violence, abuse or neglect at home; drug or alcohol addiction; emotional or behavioural problems; or leaving residential or foster care. Young people leaving prison or juvenile detention centres may also be at risk.
Typically, youth homelessness is linked to insecurity throughout an individual’s formative years. Predominantly those affected are young people who have been in care and have been moved frequently. There is a disconnect between child welfare services and homelessness services for adults. The facilities tackling homelessness for adults are often unsuited to this demographic, and can indeed exacerbate existing issues such as substance abuse and mental illness in the group. Studies show that youth homelessness is linked to poor education, lack of employment and poor healthcare in their teenage years.
One for Ireland recognises homelessness as one of the most pressing social issues in Ireland today. We want to make a difference by distributing the funds raised through the campaign to organisations (both national and local) which can make a real and positive impact in reducing the number of homeless young people in Ireland, and addressing the issues that face them. One for Ireland aims to support children and young people between the ages of 0-24 years who are at risk of homelessness or who have been impacted by homelessness.How to Donate