Galway City Tribune – There has been a five-fold increase in the number of people in emergency accommodation in the West of Ireland over the past four years.
In the same period, the Galway Simon Community dealt with three times the number of cases – the busiest it has ever been in its four decades of helping the homeless.
The numbers living in B&Bs and hotels jumped from 91 at the end of 2014 to over 500 in December 2018; last April they continued to shoot up, reaching 559 – yet the figures do not fully highlight the extent of the housing crisis in Galway, insists the CEO of the Galway Simon, Karen Golden.
“They exclude rough sleepers, couch surfers and others who are involuntarily sharing – the vast majority of those supported by Galway Simon Community are not included in the national emergency accommodation figures,” she explained.
The 2018 annual report – launched this week – showed the homeless charity had one of the busiest years since it was set up 40 years ago this year by a group of students.
Staff worked with 676 cases across its services, which represented 550 unique households.
Galway Simon’s Prevention Services worked with 410 households to help them to sustain their current tenancy or find alternative housing before they ended up in emergency accommodation. Of those 132 were families, including 292 children.
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