Press Release

Hanafin says Sufficient Places Available for Young Homeless

Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D. today (Friday, 21 December, 2001) said that “with the increase in emergency, longer term and specialist provision over the past 18 months for young homeless people in Dublin, as well as expanded services in Cork and Limerick, there is a bed available for each young homeless person”.

She said that the number of young people in Ireland who presented as homeless decreased by 25% in 2000 (from 774 cases in 1999 to 588 cases in 2000). All indications are that there has been a substantial further decrease in the number of young people presenting as homeless in the past 12 months.

“The young people who were dealt with by the health boards include children who were out of home for an evening, a night or extended periods. On any night in city centre Dublin a core group of 20 young people have been identified” Minister Hanafin said.

Minister Hanafin welcomes the acknowledgement by Fr Peter Mc Verry on TV A.M. this week (Wednesday 19 December) that progress has been made in relation to children at risk when he said “there´s no doubt that facilities have improved and resources have been made available which weren’t there before”. Minister Hanafin went on to say that “real progress can only be made in youth homelessness with the continued spirit of partnership between the voluntary and statutory sector”.

Minister Hanafin added “we need to place greater emphasis on preventing homelessness in the first place”.

“The implementation of the Youth Homelessness Strategy which places particular emphasis on prevention and on the importance of supporting schools, communities and the young people themselves and their families will further address youth homelessness on a national basis”, Hanafin added.

She also said that “over £14m (€17.78) has been invested in youth homelessness services since this Government came into office. In all £135m (€171.45) have been invested for the further development of services for vulnerable children and their families”.