Minister of State, Martin Heydon, former housing minster, Eoghan Murphy and Pat Doyle from the Peter McVerry Trust at the opening of the Athy Family Hub
A total of 329 homeless children and 400 adults came to Kildare County Council looking for a roof over their head in 2020.
At local level, there were 1,198 cases, which included individuals and family units. Of this total, 843 cases had been homeless before.
In its annual report released on Friday, July 16, the council said the main reasons for homeless presentations related to “family circumstances, impact of Covid-19, prison and hospital releases and unaffordable rents”.
Last year, €4.7m was spent on homeless services in Kildare.
As of December 2020, 24 families had spent up to six months in supported temporary accommodations and family hubs in the county, seven had lived there between six and 12 months while 12 had been there for up to 18 months.
Eight families had been accommodated at these locations for up to two years while a further five had been there for up to two and a half years.
The council operates family hubs in Athy and Prosperous in conjunction with The Peter McVerry Trust with supported temporary accommodation for 11 families.
Homeless shelter, Michael Garry House is also in operation in Newbridge.
In conjunction with Dublin City Council and Peter McVerry, the council provided 25 beds for single males. This facility also provided 24 cold weather beds in 2020. This initiative was aimed at preventing rough sleeping throughout the winter period when temperatures dropped quite low. “An out of hours service was provided throughout 2020 with 3,044 calls recorded and 3,235 placements provided over the 12-month period,” said the report.
It pointed out the Threshold Tenancy Protection Service also continues to be available.
The council stated that seven isolation units were available throughout 2020 if individuals or families in emergency accommodation needed to self-isolate due to Covid-19. These units were provided by the council from the main housing stock and will continue to be available in the foreseeable future..
It said there were six Housing First placements in Kildare last year and further placements are planned for this year.
The Housing First model, which was introduced in 2019 in Kildare aims to provide homeless people with direct access to secure, independent housing without preconditions and this is accompanied by intensive housing and health supports. Peter McVerry is in charge of delivering the project but there is a multi-agency approach.
Meanwhile, a total of 972 private rented inspections were carried out in the county 2020, in-line with the Covid 19 restrictions that were in place.
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