'These are not places to grow up in': Figures highlight worrying increase of Cork children in homeless accommodation

A total of 356 people were put up in private emergency accommodation and a further 202 were in supported temporary accommodation in June
'These are not places to grow up in': Figures highlight worrying increase of Cork children in homeless accommodation

Communications and campaigns manager with Cork Simon, Paul Sheehan, said the figures outlined a sharp increase, particularly in child homelessness.

A “WORRYING” increase in child homelessness has been recorded in Cork in the latest emergency-accommodation figures released by the Government.

In June, 466 individuals in Cork were seeking emergency accommodation. A total of 74 families and 49 single-parent families in the southwest sought accommodation from the Government, involving 106 adults and 145 child dependents.

Communications and campaigns manager with Cork Simon, Paul Sheehan, said the figures outlined a sharp increase, particularly in child homelessness.

“Cork has seen a 13% increase in 12 months and the number of children in the southwest in emergency accommodation has risen from 94 in June last year to 145 in June 2022.”

The Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, said services are struggling to cope with demand.

“I am seriously concerned that we are looking at Cork’s homeless situation beginning to mirror Dublin, where far too many children spend large chunks of their childhood in emergency accommodation. These are not places for children to grow up.”

Mr Gould said: “What we can see very clearly is that this is increasing and homeless services, which were already struggling, are at breaking point. Services are doing their absolute best, but they are getting to the situation whereby they will have to turn people away.

“The most worrying statistic is that in the last month, figures rose from 109 children in homeless accommodation in May in the southwest to 145 children in June.”

Mr Gould highlighted the rise in the number of children experiencing homelessness.

“This represents a 33% increase in child homelessness in Cork and Kerry. Children should not be stuck in homeless accommodation.

“I am now supporting 39 families and individuals who are facing homelessness by the end of this year. The reality is that some of these people will end up in homeless accommodation. This is a scandal. The Government are burying their head in the sand and walking Cork into a child homeless crisis. It is time to properly address the homeless crisis now.”

On Friday, Cork Simon submitted its pre-budget submission to the Government seeking a number of measures to stop homelessness including bringing 5,000 vacant properties back into the market via the repair and lease scheme for homeless people.

“Prevention is key, the numbers coming out of homelessness is a trickle, we really need to ramp up, really ramp up,” Mr Sheehan said.

A total of 356 people were put up in private emergency accommodation and a further 202 were in supported temporary accommodation.

The age profile of homeless individuals in the southwest is: 65 people aged 18-24; 313 aged 25–44; and 164 aged 45–64; with 13 over the age of 65.

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