Simon Community Reports Increasing Demand for Services

The Simon Community has reported that ten extra people have been seeking temporary emergency accommodation every day in Dublin.

The charity's annual report for last year shows that 1,500 people are in such accommodation in the greater Dublin area.

Simon Community Chief Executive Sam McGuinness said that the perception of homelessness is changing because of the severe financial pressure in which people are finding themselves.

Mr McGuinness said people now realise that homelessness was something that could happen to anyone.

The charity has warned of the lack of and the critical need for permanent accommodation options for people in fear of becoming trapped and institutionalised in homelessness.

It is launching a development fund of €5m to try to address this challenge.

The charity said that more than 40% of people seeking its help had been using its services for more than five years.

The charity helped 2,663 people last year compared to 2,532 in 2010.

Mr McGuinness said it was imperative that the Simon Community provides suitable "move on" housing options to prevent people from being "stacked up" in emergency accommodation simply because there is nowhere else for them to go.

He said: "People who are homeless need to re-build a sustainable future for themselves and regain their self-worth and self-esteem by having access to the best possible services and supports."

The charity helped 2,663 people last year compared to 2,532 in 2010.

(source: RTE News)