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No More Deaths On Our Streets

category ireland / britain | miscellaneous | non-anarchist press author Sunday September 11, 2005 03:27author by Jon Glackin - Street Seenauthor email streetseen04 at hotmail dot comauthor phone 07743275533 Report this post to the editors

No More Deaths On Our Streets

Saturday 17 September @ 2pm
Central Bank
Dame Street
Dublin 2

Street Seen is calling on all those individuals, groups and organisations who wish to see the end of avoidable deaths on Irish Streets and homelessness to support this demonstration as a matter of urgency.

The recent tragic deaths of two ‘homeless’ people in Dublin highlights the Governments acute inadequacies in serving its citizens. On a weekly basis people die needlessly on Irish streets due to the acute lack of housing and lack of services to those in need. In response to these recent deaths Street Seen, Irish Anti-Poverty Paper, are calling on people to protest in Dublin saying clearly enough is enough: No More Deaths On Our Streets

Numbers of people sleeping rough in Dublin city centre remain at record high levels, according to a new survey conducted by homeless organisations. Two hundred and thirty seven (237) people sleep rough in Dublin on any given night. These people are vulnerable to changes in the weather, violence, abuse and sexual exploitation. The survey co-ordinated by the Homeless Agency was carried out by Focus Ireland, Dublin Simon Community, Merchant’s Quay Ireland along with Dublin City Council and other homeless services

It was only with the introduction of the Housing Act in 1988 that any kind of national assessments of homelessness by Local Authorities were carried out. Although the early assessments were deeply flawed the most recent one (2002) found that a record 5,581 people were homeless throughout the state (according to the Housing Act definition). The majority of these were in Dublin. The Homeless Agency also co-ordinated a separate assessment for Dublin. This counted 2,920 homeless people in Dublin in 2002. There are currently 48,413 households on the housing waiting lists nationally and 5,581 people who are homeless. The vast majority of these live in emergency hostels and B&B accommodation on a night-by-night basis

Not only has the number of homeless households increased substantially over the years but the crisis in social/public housing has also deepened. The slow-down in the construction of social housing by the local authorities in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the rise in the cost of renting private accommodation and the increasing cost of purchasing a property have lead to an increased demand for social housing.

Housing charity Threshold recently called on the Government to prevent the creation of modern-day slums by radically improving living conditions in private rental accommodation. Threshold in its 2004 Annual Report, showed the number of calls from people living in unfit accommodation had risen by more than a third last year. Conditions people were reporting included problems with hot and cold running water, mould growing on walls, vermin infestations and living in windowless rooms, Threshold claimed local authorities were failing in their duty to inspect privately-rented accommodation, with only 7,232 of an estimated 150,000 dwellings checked by inspectors. According to the report, almost 30% of inspected properties were found to be falling below minimum standards.

Homelessness means more than just sleeping rough. If you are living in Ireland in a hostel or bed and breakfast or staying temporarily with friends because you have nowhere else to go, you are homeless.

Street Seen is calling on all those individuals, groups and organisations who wish to see the end of avoidable deaths on Irish Streets and homelessness to support this demonstration as a matter of urgency.


No More Deaths On Our Streets
Saturday 17 September @ 2pm
Central Bank
Dame Street
Dublin 2

Further Details:
Jon Glackin 0774 327 5533
Mark Grehan 087 797 4622

Supported by:
Street Seen
Fr. Peter McVerry
Mick O’Reilly, Reg. Sec. TGWU
Ray O’Reilly, Asst. Gen. Sec. IWU
International Homeless Forum http://www.forums.homeless.org.au/
Residents Against Racism




Merchants Quay Ireland: The Changing Nature of Homelessness in Ireland
http://www.mqi.ie/homeless_awareness1.htm

How Many People are Homeless?

The Department of the Environment estimated that 5,581 individuals were homeless in Ireland during one week in March 2002. This compares to 2,501 homeless during the same period in 1996. 4,060 of these were in Dublin, where 723 had been homeless for more than three years. 312 of those surveyed in Dublin said they were sleeping rough with the remainder staying in emergency or insecure accommodation.

Why are so many homeless?

Housing has become increasingly unaffordable - house prices and rent increased substantially between 1996 and 2003. The Governments plan to deny rent subsidy to persons for the first six months renting will lead to a further increase in homelessness
Local authority housing used to provide a safety net that prevented poor people from becoming homeless. In 2002 there were a total of 102,000 local authority houses in Ireland. There were 48,000 households on the waiting lists for such housing.
A number of people who used to reside in psychiatric hospitals or other institutions become homeless on discharge.
Increased incidence of family breakdown also has an impact on levels of homelessness. Between 18 and 40% of homeless people say this was a cause of their homelessness

Who becomes homeless?

In Dublin last year 2,920 adults were homeless and 1,140 children.
The numbers of families with children who are homeless had increased to 25% of all homeless households identified.
Lone parents account for two-thirds of households with children. 94% of lone parents are women.
The number of children who were homeless has increased by almost 15% to 1,140. [1]
In a 1998 study Cleary & Prizeman found that 58% had become homeless by the age of 20 and 20% by the age of 16. [2]

What problems do homeless people have?

The average age of death of those recoded as homeless on coroners reports varies between 42 and 53 years. [3]
Between 25% and 50% of people who are homeless experience
mental health problems. [4][5][6]
Incidence of drug taking among homeless people in Dublin is high with surveys showing figures for drug dependency ranging from 25% to 45%. [7]
Estimates suggest that between 29% and 50% of people who are homeless are drinking above safe levels/recommended levels. [8][9]

Sources
1. Counted In as cited above
2. Cleary, A & G. Prizeman (1998) Homelessness and Mental Health. Social Science Research Center
3. Homelessness Fact File (2003) Crisis UK
4. McKeown, Kieran (1999) Mentally Ill and Homeless in Ireland Disability Federation of Ireland. Dublin
5. Feeney, A., McGee, H., Holohan, T. and Shannon, W. (2000) Health of Hostel-Dwelling Men in Dublin. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Eastern Health Board.
6. Amnesty International (2003) Mental Illness-The Neglected Quarter-Homelessness. Amnesty International All Ireland Section. Dublin
7. O'Gorman, A (2002) Overview of Research on Drug Misuse Among the Homeless in Ireland. Paper presented at at the conference "Homelessness and Problem Drug Use-Two Faces of Exclusion. Merchants Quay Ireland July 2002.
8. Holohan, T. (1997) Health Status, Health Service Utilisation and Barriers to Health Service Utilisation among the Adult Homeless Population of Dublin. Dublin: Eastern Health Board
9. Feeney as cited above


Focus Ireland: Causes Of Homelessness
http://www.focusireland.ie/htm/housing_homelessness/facts_figures/causes.htm

People usually become homeless for a number of complex reasons including poverty and the lack of affordable, secure and appropriate long-term housing, as well as complex life circumstances. Typical difficulties that often trigger periods of homelessness include the following:

Unemployment: Economic difficulties including job loss can lead to homelessness as families and/or single adults can no longer meet mortgage or rent payments.

Drug and/or alcohol misuse: Substance misuse can lead to homelessness as family relationships breakdown or people lose their homes due to their addiction.

Eviction from and/or lack of low rent housing: Research by Focus Ireland in 2000 found that 29 per cent of B&B users had been evicted or threatened with eviction from either local authority or private rented accommodation or were forced to leave their last place of accommodation due to overcrowding.

Relationship breakdown: This has proven to be a significant trigger leading to homelessness. Various studies have shown that anywhere between 18 and 40 per cent of homeless households report relationship breakdown as a primary cause of their homelessness.

Leaving state care: Leaving state care has proven to be a significant pathway into homelessness as young people reach age 18 and are no longer the responsibility of the state. Focus Ireland research into the circumstances of a group of young people leaving three different types of state care found that 66 per cent of them experienced homelessness within two years of leaving the care environment.

Leaving prison: Leaving prison has proven to be a significant pathway into homeless in many countries as relationships may have broken down and accommodation may be lost during the periods of imprisonment.

Episodes of mental illness: Inappropriate release from hospitals, inappropriate long-term accommodation options, and lack of access to appropriate medical and therapeutic services all contribute to becoming, and remaining, homeless if affected by mental ill-health.

Being homeless as a child: Children of homeless families often become homeless as adults as a recent Focus Ireland study has shown. Twenty-five percent of homeless adults participating in the pilot study had experienced homelessness as children.

No More Deaths On Our Streets
Saturday 17 September @ 2pm
Central Bank
Dame Street
Dublin 2

Further Details:
Jon Glackin 0774 327 5533
Mark Grehan 087 797 4622

Supported by:
Street Seen
Fr. Peter McVerry
Mick O’Reilly, Reg. Sec. TGWU
Ray O’Reilly, Asst. Gen. Sec. IWU
International Homeless Forum http://www.forums.homeless.org.au/
Residents Against Racism

Related Link: http://www.streetseennews.blogspot.com
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