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3% reduction in homelessness numbers in Mid-West from January to April

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A slight decrease in Clare’s homelessness figures were recorded in April.

In what is marked as a small decline from January 2020, a total of 474 men, women and children accessed emergency accommodation across Co Clare and Co Limerick in April of this year.

Published this week by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the April 2020 Homelessness Report detailed that 82 families with 144 children plus 227 single adults were classed as being homeless throughout the month of April. A 3% decrease in homelessness has been recorded in the Mid-West since the beginning of the year.

CEO of Mid West Simon, Jackie Bonfield noted that the growth of homelessness hit a peak in July 2018 with a total of 555. “From the outset of this Covid-19 crisis, teams from across the sector, ourselves, Limerick City and County Council, Clare County Council and Tipperary County Council and other NGO partners have rallied together and done great work in the face of extraordinarily challenging conditions,” she stated.

Over 2,000 families and individuals have availed of their foodbank services to put food on the table. Across the Mid-West, they are providing 65 families and individuals with their own homes.

Jackie warned that there cannot be a waterfall effect of homelessness as restrictions are eased with the aim now on prevention. “As we have seen over the last few months, great work has been done by all involved to stem the flow into homelessness. Now, as we begin to relax emergency measures and re-open the economy, we simply cannot allow a waterfall to happen. As we take our first steps back into a new kind of normal, we must be conscious of those who have lost jobs, struggling to pay rent, or whose financial situation has been decimated by this pandemic. These people are among the most vulnerable in our society right now and cannot be left behind in this new world”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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