Press Release 01.10.19 | Depaulcharity

Press Release 01.10.19 | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Press Release 01.10.19

October 1st, 2019

18% drop in move-ons as Depaul calls for renewed spotlight on single homeless people – Annual Report launch 2018

Number of single homeless people has grown by 70% since December 2014

Tuesday, 1st October 2019. Cross border homelessness charity Depaul will today launch its Annual Report for 2018 showing that the organisation helped 4,333 men, women and children during 2018, an increase of 9% over 2017. Depaul provided a total of 604 beds each night.

In 2018, Depaul…

  • Saw a 18% drop in move-ons from its services, leaving people stuck in homelessness (636 in 2018 from 774 in 2017).
  • Saw 15 babies born in to its services in 2018.
  • Saved 60 (+150% on previous year) lives through the administration of Naloxone, a life-saving antidote that reverses the effects of drug overdose.
  • Helped a total of 881 children, an increase of 13% on the previous year.
  • By the end of 2018 created Depaul Housing Association as an Approved Housing Body (AHB). 

The report was launched in Depaul’s Back Lane service, a 105-year-old hostel which has supported men in Dublin’s city centre. The service provides both Long Term and Short Term accommodation and also works with rough sleepers. Back Lane provides on-site nursing and mental health interventions and meals are served daily by dedicated kitchen staff.

Over the course of 2018 Depaul has seen the number of move-ons from its services decrease by 18%, leaving people stuck in homelessness. Depaul helped 636 people move away from homelessness in 2018 however, in 2017 Depaul saw some 774 people move away from homelessness through its services.

Speaking at the launch Depaul CEO David Carroll said;

“2018 has been another year where we have witnessed huge growth in the homeless population. More men, women and children find themselves homeless than ever before. In 2018 Depaul have witnessed an 18% drop in move-ons for our services users, leaving people stuck in homelessness.

“It is incredibly frustrating when you have helped people to a point where they are ready to live independently only to find they have nowhere to go. The lack of housing supply is stymieing people’s ability to move on from homelessness. It is disheartening for everybody involved, particularly when our aim is to end homelessness and see people living back in their communities.

“Single people still remain the biggest cohort within the homeless population and the ones likely to remain homeless for longer periods. We must begin to put a greater emphasis on single homeless people, particularly those with complex needs. We know from working with these people that they are more than capable of living independently. Unfortunately, options for single homeless people remain incredibly limited so we must look at new ways of helping those stuck in homelessness for greater periods.”

The number of single people in homelessness currently is 3,945. In December 2014 the number of single homeless people stood at 2,310. This represents a 70% increase in single homeless people in that period.

A recent study in to why people are becoming homeless and accessing emergency accommodation carried out by Depaul revealed that 86% of those surveyed were first time homeless. Of those surveyed 60% were male with 81% stating they were single (not in a relationship). 77% of those surveyed cited a 1-bed property as their ideal accommodation.

The average rent for a 1-bed apartment in Dublin stands at over €1,500 according to a recent Daft.ie rental survey however, those looking to access homeless housing assistance payment (HAP) are only entitled to €990 per month, meaning the main mechanism currently being used to house single homeless people is not working. According to the same report average rent prices for Ireland now stands at €1,391, 35% higher than their peak in 2008. At the end of August 2019 there were just over 1,500 properties for rent available.

At the end of 2018 Depaul established Depaul Housing Association, an Approved Housing Body (AHB) in reaction to the long lengths people are finding themselves in Depaul services. Depaul Housing will seek to source housing solutions for all of Depaul’s service users through various mechanisms including the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS), Buy and Repair (B&S) to bring disused properties back in to use, Capital Asset Leasing Facility (CALF) and Repair and Leasing Scheme (RLS), again to bring empty properties back in to use.

Over the course of 2018 Depaul witnessed a huge rise in the number of suspected overdoses within its services. 60 lives were saved through the administration of Naloxone, a life-saving antidote which reverses the effects of a drug overdose. The number of suspected overdoses stood at 127, an 81% increase on 2017. Depaul provided training to 106 staff in 2018 so they could spot the signs of overdose and intervene where necessary.

Speaking on the 60 lives saved Depaul’s Director of Services for the Republic of Ireland Dermot Murphy said;

“It is clear from the amount of lives saved and suspected overdoses within our services that we are dealing with a growing drug problem. We have witnessed a huge rise in poly-substance addictions where the people we work with are addicted to two or more types of drug. This is an alarming trend as it can be extremely difficult to treat a person who presents with multiple addictions.

“Other trends we have experienced within our services include a marked rise in the use of crack cocaine. The use of prescription drugs such as Pregablin (Lyrica) and benzodiazepines are also quite noticeable with people presenting with drug addictions to our services.

“The reality is we need to be providing more health interventions and giving people the platform to change their drug consumption. This means providing more recovery orientated services and safe injection facilities, which we believe will ultimately encourage people to engage with services get the support they require.”

The number of families Depaul worked with increased by 8% on the previous year to 513 and the number of children helped stood at 881 by the end of 2018, an increase of 13%. Depaul also experienced rise in the number of life-saving interventions through its Naloxone programme. 60 lives were saved throughout Depaul services, representing a 150% increase compared to 24 in 2017.

By the end of 2018 Depaul employed 475 staff, an increase of 15% on the previous year and saw 601 volunteers give their time and skills to help those experiencing homelessness in Ireland. Depaul provided 28 services, working with rough sleepers, people in addiction, women leaving the prison system and asylum seekers.

This December as part of a worldwide call to put an end to global homelessness, Depaul will be the partner of The World’s Big Sleep Out in Dublin and Belfast which will take place at Trinity College and Stormont Estate on 7th December 2019. 2,500 people in Ireland will make up some of the 50,000 people sleeping outside in cities across the globe as part of The World’s Big Sleep Out: one night, 50 cities, 50,000 people aiming to raise $50 million. Register now at www.bigsleepout.com.

ENDS

Annual Report 2018

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