Alice Leahy, Director and Co-Founder of TRUST today described the government new homeless strategy as “a PR exercise designed to cover up a national scandal that cannot succeed because of cutbacks already implemented in support services for people who are homeless.”
Describing the strategy as a worrying development because it seems to imply action will be taken when there is absolutely no possibility of that Alice Leahy said “because the strategy fails to acknowledge the reality confronting people who are homeless on the streets today when they try to access services, a situation made much worse because of cutbacks.”
“People find themselves homeless on the streets because they have problems that prevent them from fitting in, such as drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues and family breakdown. Therefore, at a time when a number of cutbacks in support services for these people have already been implemented by the HSE, which effectively prevent homeless people from getting back into society, talk of ending homelessness anytime soon is absurd,” Alice Leahy said.
The use of the Vision in this strategy may sound well, but no one should be in any doubt that emergency accommodation is already in short supply because of cutbacks Alice Leahy said. “And given current policy it will be even more necessary because the causes of homelessness, which the Minister himself described as “poverty, mental ill health, addiction and family issues,” have been made much worse by recent cutbacks, especially by the HSE. In other words, government cutbacks policy is actually making homelessness worse. Indeed, this strategy appears to us as nothing less than a smokescreen to justify even further cutbacks as there is a serious shortage of emergency accommodation, which cutbacks will make more urgently necessary,” Alice Leahy said.