The high volume of holidaymakers visiting Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim has created a new challenge for homeless services in the region.
That was the message today from the General Manager of the North West Simon Community.
Mr Noel Daly explained that there are, at best, 60 emergency beds available in the largely rural North West region.
This service depends on the availability of spare capacity in local B&B’s, hotels and tourist hostels for emergency accommodation, particularly outside of Sligo town and Letterkenny.
“The tourism industry is currently experiencing a welcome surge in staycations after the pandemic lockdown, but unfortunately this means there are very few beds available for use as temporary emergency accommodation,” Mr Daly said.
An online search carried out by North West Simon Community on August 27th, – the day the latest statistics were published – identified six hotels or B&Bs able accommodate an adult and two children, and 11 properties with room for a single adult, across the three counties.
“For those who cannot move in with parents, family or friends, or safely remain where they currently reside, requesting emergency accommodation from their local authority is the best remaining option, and that facility is currently in very short supply. This current, severe shortage of emergency accommodation adds yet another layer to the challenge that Local Authorities and voluntary homeless service providers face in the North West.”
Mr Daly was commenting following publication of the Monthly Homelessness Report.
The report shows that 93 individuals accessed Local Authority managed emergency accommodation in the North West Region during the Week of 19 to 25 July.
Among the 78 households accommodated were eight families comprised of nine adults and 16 children, and 70 single adults.
North West Simon Community points out that these homeless figures only relate to households that have been approved for social housing support by the local authorities.
They do not include households frequently described as the “hidden homeless” that may be sleeping rough, living in refuges, staying with parents, relatives or friends in overcrowded conditions, those who have not been approved for support by their local authority, or been unable to access emergency accommodation.
Mr Daly says that ending the current homelessness crisis requires an adequate supply of housing, available to rent at an affordable price, and right now the North West Region doesn’t have either.Tags: