Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Census finds 3,800 people homeless

More than 60 per cent of homeless people in Ireland were in Dublin, the census showed

More than 3,800 people were homeless across Ireland when the census was carried out, with 59 men and six women sleeping rough.

The head count found that 503 children under the age of 18 - 14% of the total - were without a permanent home on the night.

Separately, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) warned that households with children were more at risk of poverty than those with none.

Senior statistician Deirdre Cullen said it was the first time such a comprehensive approach to identifying homeless people in Ireland was undertaken as part of the census.

"The report examines the homeless population across a range of variables such as age, sex, marital status, general health and disability," she said. "It also provides results on the level of education of homeless persons along with their economic status, as well as providing information on entire families who were homeless on census night."

Four out of 10 homeless people were in emergency shelters, such as a hostel, on April 10 2011, with nearly 1,000 in long-term accommodation. Others were in transitional or mixed.

Almost three-quarters were male and more than 60% were in the Dublin region.

There were 296 family units enumerated on the night, which housed 905 people, including 498 children or adults who were with a parent.

While 47 couples had no children, there were 64 couples with children and 185 lone parents - 19 who had four or more children. Some 16% of homeless adults were either separated or divorced, 10% higher than the general population.

A third indicated their general health was "fair", "bad" or "very bad" compared with 10% of those with a house. A total of 42% (1,581) had a disability, in sharp contrast to the general population where the rate was 13%, with one in five of those having a psychological or emotional condition.

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