Almost 50 Clare children homeless on Christmas Day

Homeless Clare children face ‘long term trauma’ as a result living in emergency accommodation – with the negative effects likely to be felt for decades to come.
The number of Clare people living in emergency accommodation has more than doubled over the past 12 months, with almost 50 Clare children spending Christmas without a home.
Homeless charity, Mid West Simon, say the effects of this experience on the children will have to be dealt with by Clare society for decades to come.
Figures obtained from Clare County Council show that 54 adults and 48 dependents are currently living in emergency hotel or B&B accommodation in the county.
This represents a massive increase in the number of homeless people in Clare in January of 2017, when a homelessness crisis was declared in the county, prompting Clare County Council to establish a Homeless Action Team.
Twelve months ago there were 38 people living in emergency accommodation in Clare, 15 adults and 23 children, compared to 102 people who are currently in emergency accommodation.
Clare County Council’s Homeless Action Team works with a number of local groups to tackle the growing homelessness problem including Mid-West Simon, St Vincent de Paul, ClareCare, Clare Haven and a number of different sections of the HSE.
According to Tracey Reddy, Client Services Manager with the Mid West Simon Community, the emotional and physiological effect of homelessness on children will have to be tackled.
“We are very conscious of the long term impact of homelessness on children and what that impact might be in 10 to 15 years from now. We are operating the first homeless support hub outside of Dublin in Limerick City, and while they are not the solution, they do provide help for families and children,” she told The Clare People yesterday.
“People need help to deal with the emotional and physiological effect of homelessness. There is going to be a long term fall-out for children. Even when they move into a home there will be a long term trauma that society will have to deal with.
“If you listen to the media reports over the last couple of years you would think that homelessness was just a Dublin issue. Mid West Simon have been saying that unless attention is given to homelessness outside the capital the numbers would increase, that’s what we are seeing now.”
Member of Clare County Council’s Housing SPC, Dermot Hayes, has criticised the elected members of the local authority for not speaking out on homelessness.
“This is an outrageous situation. We called this a crisis last year, now it’s an emergency. The 28 councillors [member’s of Clare County Council] were elected by the people in 2014 and they haven’t opened their beak on this,” he said.
“The figures in Clare, where there are so many vacant houses, is astounding – it’s criminal really. The county council needs to build the houses. The local authority needs to get back into the business of building houses again.”
Speaking at last nights meeting of Clare County Council, Director of Services, Liam Conneely, said that the local authority were looking at creating a homeless ‘family hub’ in Ennis to assist people in emergency accommodation.
“We are looking at four different locations in relation to creating a family hub,” he said.


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