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These posters are going to help give two families new homes

‘I struggle to get my head around how many people are homeless.’

DESIGNERS FROM IRELAND and abroad are pooling their talents to help the homeless community in Dublin.

Several illustrators, photographers and established designers are donating work to Quote/Unquote, a poster exhibition being held to raise funds for the charity Stepping Stone.

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Event curator Noel Feeney told he decided to organise the exhibition after being shocked by the number of people he saw sleeping rough when he moved to Dublin from Sligo.

Since I made the move to Dublin I’ve seen firsthand the amount of homeless people and it’s continuing to rise. I struggle to get my head around it.

“Volunteering is something I’ve always been interested in. We all can make a change in some way and basically setting up Quote/Unquote is the best way I know how to contribute.”

Stepping Stone is a charity based in the capital that provides community-based housing with support services.

Its CEO Louisa Santoro said the organisation is different from a lot of other homeless charities. It has 27 units in Dublin, both houses and apartments, which individuals and families rent at affordable prices.

Families in crisis

Santoro noted that homelessness was “traditionally a single-male household issue”, but the number of families and female-led households at risk of losing their homes is steadily increasing.

It is getting worse and worse. Solutions will have to lie in more permanent accommodation, not emergency accommodation.

The number of homeless families living in Dublin has increased by 100% over the last year, according to figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

24/12/2014. People Begging

There are currently 531 families registered as requiring emergency accommodation, totalling 729 adults and 1,122 dependent children.

Long-term prospects

Santoro said Stepping Stone tries to improve their service users’ long-term prospects through linking them with education and training initiatives.

She said the organisation’s housing units are in “established neighbourhoods” where people can blend in without others knowing their background – something that is very different to living in a hostel or emergency accommodation.

There’s nothing like the experience of living in your own home and living in an established neighbourhood.

Service users tend to lease a unit from Stepping Stone for about two years before moving on to more permanent housing if possible.

Here’s a selection of some of the posters that will be on display at Quote/Unquote:

These posters are going to help give two families new homes
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  • David O'Brien

  • Cat Gavin

  • James Galligan

  • Kieran Byrne

  • Kevin Noone

  • Michael Sloane

Rent supplement

Santoro said the recent surge in homelessness or families at risking of homelessness is primarily due to a lack of suitable housing. She said the rent supplement should also be increased.

If we had double the amount of units we’d still have to turn people away.

Stepping Stone recently purchased two new houses and most of the funds raised from Quote/Unquote will go directly to helping house two families in them.

Santoro said she’s “really appreciative” of Feeney’s work and that of the other designers and sponsors involved.

Quote/Unquote will take place at the MART Gallery in Rathmines in Dublin on Thursday, 20 August from 6-9pm. Framed posters will be sold for €20 and unframed posters for €10, with all proceeds going towards Stepping Stone.

Read: These two figures show why people are so worried about the Dublin crisis

Read: Family with three children forced to sleep in Dublin park following eviction

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