A CHARITY is experiencing its highest number of single males in emergency accommodation on record as homelessness figures reach crisis levels.
Mairead O’Sullivan from Threshold's Access Housing Unit said that 25% of their service users without kids or partners are currently male with another 25% comprising single women. The remaining percentage liaising with Threshold is made up of families.
Ms O’Sullivan said that the demand in recent months has come predominantly from single males.
She added that the number of males presenting to the organisation is the most she has seen in the access housing unit’s history.
The organisation was dealing with 40 emergency accommodation cases last week alone.
“We have seen an increase in single men accessing services but it seems to have increased even more of late,” Mairead said.
She listed the challenges presenting themselves to both male and female single people facing homelessness “There is a lot of isolation and loneliness for people on their own who find themselves in that situation.” Those facing homelessness alone can often find it difficult to stay motivated.
Mairead explains: “Although still extremely difficult, it’s different for families because they are always concerned about their children and their children’s development. They are looking to the future and opportunities for their kids as any parent would. Those on their own don’t have that focus.” She described how the pressures can continue long after a property is found.
“You can have a person who is willing to pay more for a property because they need to get a roof over their head. However, this can result in them later ending up in arears. The last thing we want is people returning to homeless services. We have seen people return to us a second time. While this is rare, we have seen it happen.” Mairead listed relationship breakdowns among the possible contributing factors to homelessness.
“A relationship breakdown can have a catastrophic effect on a person’s accommodation situation. We see people coming from different countries where their support network is not as broad. In these situations, it can be hard to get social supports. We are coming across people who are taking as long as 12 months to find a place.”
Threshold is currently running a campaign titled Own Your Own Rights educating people on their rights as a renter. To find out more visit www.ownyourrights.ie Threshold offices are open from 9.30am to 5pm and can be reached by phone on 1800 454454 Donations can be made via the organisation’s website threshold.ie.