72 individuals in Wexford were supported through DePaul’s Accommodation services in 2022

72 individuals in Wexford were supported through DePaul’s Accommodation services in 2022.

Amidst the escalating homeless crisis the figure has been revealed as part of the charity’s annual report for 2022.

Nationally 5,808 adults and 1,647 children were supported in 2022 this includes 763 families – a 60% increase from 2021.

The report also says 14 babies were born in Depaul’s services. 202 lives were directly saved by Depaul staff through the administration of Naloxone – a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. 1 in 4 service users reported substance use issues – highlighting the need for a radical rethink of Ireland’s national drug policy.

Depaul CEO, David Carroll said, “We are proud to have led through this turbulent year with a strong and significant response, continuing to provide solutions during this period of unprecedented housing shortages. We could not have achieved what we did without the support of the Depaul team, the volunteers and supporters. However, as we recognise our achievements, we must continue to acknowledge that addressing homelessness requires more than temporary solutions. Urgent early interventions are essential to break the cycle of dependency, especially for vulnerable individuals, preventing homelessness from becoming an intergenerational norm.

“The 2022 Annual Report detailed that 4,329 notices to quit were issued to renters by landlords in the final three months of last year. This, on top of the high numbers accessing emergency accommodation, underlined the importance of the role of housing provision in eradicating and preventing homelessness. Depaul is incredibly concerned that the lack of housing will exacerbate the homelessness crisis even further into 2024. Increased efforts and initiatives must be made to ensure that housing can be accessed by those most in need.

Speaking ahead of Budget 2024 this OctoberDepaul CEO, David Carroll stressed the significance of this year’s budget for the thousands of people living in temporary accommodation and highlighted three key areas where funding is urgently needed.“Depaul is urging the government to consider its asks in three critical key areas:

1)  Housing: Depaul is urging the government to ensure housing options for homeless individuals through a reform of landlord taxation in order to retain housing stock. This could be done by establishing a 25% flat tax rate for small landlords who offer more tenant security, providing 4% annual relief for rental properties with tenants in situ, ensuring rental market stability and increasing national Tenant in Situ guidelines to approximately 5,000 to meet demand. A complete review of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) is needed to ensure it can support households and individuals to find and sustain accommodation, in conjunction with increasing the provision of more social homes by local authorities and approved housing bodies. While Housing for All has committed to an additional 10,000 social homes per year until 2030, it is  essential that the private rental sector functions effectively to meet the needs of families and individuals now.

2)  Recruitment & Retention Crisis: With the ongoing crisis in recruitment and retention, Depaul is urging the government to allocate adequate funding for quality services in the ongoing homelessness crisis. This can be achieved through closing the pay gap (15%) between Section 39/10 organisations and public-sector employees and by including state-funded charities in public-service pay talks and relevant forums to prevent future pay disparities.

3)  Homeless Health Budget: Healthcare for people in homelessness is an area of critical concern for Depaul and the government must allocate dedicated funds for homeless-specific health services, including physical health, mental health, and addiction support. We simply cannot ignore the inextricable link between homelessness and substance use and meaningful resources must be allocated in Budget 2024 to address the healthcare needs of people in homelessness with addiction issues. This cohort faces remarkably worse health outcomes and the mean age of death is significantly lower. Depaul is also asking the government to fund dual diagnosis treatment services for those with mental health and addiction issues and to increase treatment and support for drug addiction and overdose prevention.”

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