Almost one in ten people fear they will become homeless at some point in their lives, a shocking survey has revealed.
Focus Ireland released the results of a poll as it launched a new campaign to get voters and politicians to put homelessness top of the agenda in the General Election.
The homeless charity hopes to get the backing of candidates with the hard-hitting slogan: 'While Politicians Canvass Door to Door - Some People Have to Sleep in Them'.
Joyce Loughnan, chief executive, said: "It is terrible that approximately 80 out of 1,000 people contacted for this random survey believe it is either very likely (6%) or quite likely (2%) that they will lose their home and become homeless at some point.
"This shows the terrible impact the recession, and a continued failure to deliver housing, is having on the most vulnerable families and single people in every town and city in Ireland."
Focus Ireland said the poll also found that nearly half of the people who think they will become homeless are currently working.
Up to 5,000 people are homeless in Ireland, with the majority in emergency shelter and a small number sleeping rough. Meanwhile latest estimates show more than 120,000 households on housing waiting lists nationwide.
The charity is also urging its 32,000 Facebook supporters to ask all candidates how they aim to tackle the issue after the outgoing Government failed to meet its own target of ending long-term homelessness by the end of 2010.
"Politicians need to realise that homelessness is a key issue," added Mrs Loughnan. "Because of the level of debt and mortgage/rent arrears, fear of losing your home is a profound concern for families throughout the country."
The Ipos MRBI survey was carried out in mid-January and quizzed 1,000 adults.