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Record high number of children in emergency accommodation, September figures show

There were 3,904 children, and 8,923 adults in emergency accommodation last month.

LAST UPDATE | 27 Oct 2023

MORE THAN 12,800 people slept in emergency accommodation around the country in September, according to newly released figures from the Department of Housing.

8,923 adults and 3,904 children accessed emergency accommodation last month, bringing the total to 12,827 people. 

The figures are an increase of 136 compared to August, when there were 12,691 people in emergency accommodation.

The figures show the number of children homeless in Ireland has reached another record high of 3,904. 

Focus Ireland has called for more immediate action by the Government to support these vulnerable children and their families while they are homeless and to provide better access to housing to help more people exit homelessness.

“The Government must act to prevent further suffering for the nearly 4,000 children homeless,” Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said.

“Some do not even have the vital support provided by the likes of our specialist child support workers. We are doing all we can but what these children need is a place to call home,” Dennigan said.

The Depaul charity said that “mental health is deteriorating greatly” among the groups it works with.

“Adults and children are under pressure and stress and there are limited supports available,” Depaul chief executive David Carroll said. 

“Ongoing therapeutic interventions are urgently needed for children in particular to help them deal with the chronic stress induced by homelessness. There is a real danger that homelessness will become normalised in the midst of the housing crisis we are experiencing,” Carroll said. 

“We cannot afford to become complacent with Ireland’s homelessness crisis. Sustainable housing solutions are needed now.”

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has accused the Government of having thrown in the towel on the housing crisis. 

“How many more adults and children must be forced into emergency accommodation before the Government acts?” Ó Broin said. 

“It is not enough for Government to say this is their number one priority. They must act like it is their number one priority.”

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