A total of 214 people were supported by Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, in Kildare during 2016.
This figure includes those that accessed the Emergency Accommodation in Newbridge and those supported via the out of hour Freephone number.
Over 3,600 emergency placements were provided by the charity in counties Dublin and Kildare and 589 individuals receiving ongoing housing with supports from Peter McVerry Trust.
The national housing and homeless charity, has urged the Government to deliver a more effective and urgent response to the deepening homeless crisis.
The charity, which will launch its annual report later today, said the Government should switch its funding to more effective forms of responding to homelessness, such as Housing First rather than continue to rely more and more emergency accommodation.
Ahead of the report launch Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We’ve been responding to a deepening crisis for the past five years and each year, as the number of people in homelessness has grown higher, it has become much more difficult to respond as resources are stretched ever further.”
“We have said to Government all along that the solution has to be a housing led one, yet we find ourselves constantly being asked to deliver greater levels of emergency accommodation. In the past ten years Peter McVerry Trust’s bed capacity has seen a twenty-eightfold increase, and this winter we have been asked, and have committed, to put in place additional emergency capacity in the absence of alternative housing solutions.”
“This is very frustrating because we know that emergency accommodation is more expensive and less effective than other models such as Housing First. Yet Housing First receives less than 1% of the national homeless budget each year in Ireland. In other countries up to 50% of the homeless services budget must be invested in the Housing First model. Housing First has significantly higher success rates for housing people, and can be delivered at almost half the cost of traditional emergency accommodation.”
“If we can get the Government to make a funding and policy shift, then the next thing we need is housing to come on stream to actually deliver a Housing First approach.”
Concluding, Mr Doyle said the Government needed to demonstrate to people in homelessness that it was doing all it could to meet their housing needs as well as taking every possible step to prevent further, unnecessary cases of homelessness.
“The bottom line is that until we see significant and sustained decreases in the number of people entering homelessness, and in the numbers accessing homeless services, Peter McVerryTrust will continue to put pressure the Government do more to tackle the issue.”