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Public meeting to highlight homelessness crisis

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CLARE Labour Party Chairman Seamus Ryan is organising a public meeting to highlight the growing homelessness problem in Co Clare.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Mr Ryan outlined how he was moved to organise the meeting following numerous interactions with people on the verge of becoming homeless due to rising rents and with people who have lost their home.

“I meet all kinds of people every day and more and more of them are talking about how they are being pushed to the upper end of what they can afford in terms of rent and other people have been telling me that they are becoming homeless.

“It’s not people that are young or people that you would think are in danger of becoming homeless but it’s people that are in their 50s, single people, married people and we are calling this meeting to highlight this because it’s not being dealt with,” Mr Ryan said.

In the latest management report from the CEO of Clare Co Co (July 2018) 47 people presented to Homeless Services. The homeless figures for May indicate full occupancy of 13 beds at Laurel Lodge and there was also 60 adults and 49 dependents (109 in total) in emergency accommodation.

The meeting will be held on Monday, September 3 next at 7.30pm in the Old Ground Hotel.

It will be attended by Labour housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan, who will discuss Labour’s new housing policy and Head of Service Delivery NOVAS.ie Anne Cronin.

The new policy from the Labour Party calls for the creation of a National Housing Authority to use public land develop 80,000 new homes across the country with each town and village having a master plan ensuring that homes are built in conjunction with services.

University of Limerick’s Dr Ronni Michelle Greenwood will explain the Housing First model of service.

“It flips the whole idea of homelessness on its head. In Ireland, getting a home is the end goal and you build the supports around people in order to help them get to that goal.

“However, in the process that Dr Greenwood has been working on, and we have seen this work internationally, what they do is they start with giving you a home, and you have the security of having a home and then you move forward with the supports that you need,” Mr Ryan added.

Mr Ryan claims that this housing model has been proven to me more successful and up to 50 per cent less expensive.

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