Limerick homelessness: McVerry trust welcomes drop in those accessing accommodation

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Homelessness: The Limerick-based charity is hoping that the decline in numbers is the ‘beginning of a longer term trend’ in those accessing emergency accommodation

Homelessness: The Limerick-based charity is hoping that the decline in numbers is the ‘beginning of a longer term trend’ in those accessing emergency accommodation

THE HOMELESSNESS campaign group Peter McVerry Trust has given a cautious welcome to figures showing a decline in the number of people accessing emergency accommodation.

Figures released this month show an 8% monthly decline in those accessing hotel and hostel accommodation in the city between November and December last.

But this still represents a 12% increase in the numbers of people accessing emergency accommodation in Limerick since December 2016.

Nationally, there was an overall decline in the number of people experiencing homelessness with a significant decrease in the numbers of families from November to December 2017. A total of 8,587 people are now homeless, which represents a 20% annual increase since December 2016.

Pat Doyle, the chief executive of the trust said: “We welcome the overall reduction in homelessness in December, but this has to be the beginning of a longer term trend.”

He highlighted the work that Peter McVerry Trust is doing in Limerick, in partnership with Limerick City and County Council, in offering solutions and permanent exists from homelessness.

“In our first 12 months working in Limerick Peter McVerry Trust worked to house 30 people. Our regional office, which opened in Limerick city in December 2016, provides homelessness prevention services and housing supports to people exiting homelessness, in partnership with Limerick City and County Councils,” he said.

“There has been a huge amount of work carried out across the sector to secure housing and housing move ins for people in homelessness. We need to see that work from the likes of the Department for Housing and local authorities, in partnership with the voluntary sector, ramped up in 2018. A year round level or urgency, which we experienced in the final quarter of 2017, could make a major difference to the homeless crisis.”

Mr Doyle believes the reduction in people using emergency accommodation is due to the upsurge in rapid build facilities.

“This demonstrates the importance of expanding and scaling up this approach in 2018,” he concluded.