Sir, – Anecdotal evidence around the complexities of the problems of homelessness is widespread. However concrete evidence can only be achieved by good quality evidence based research. For that reason the report from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive is timely. In the report by Olivia Kelly (Home News, December 15th) relationship breakdowns are seen as a contributing factor to homelessness.

This poses the question how does the State deal with the many and growing social issues.

The State can and must provide housing for those in need. Social concerns remain and a range of services are required – often from the cradle to the grave.

Unless these issues are acknowledged and addressed the number of people in need of housing because of social issues will continue to grow ad infinitum. Politicians particularly need to be well informed and courageous enough to acknowledge that fact. Questions do need to be asked about the type of society we now live in.

Looking beneath and behind a statistic requires time and is crucial. The wise words of Andrew Lange over 100 years ago makes so much sense. “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than illumination”.

Only when we acknowledge his wise words as a basis for sound planning can we say with certainty that change is possible. – Yours, etc,


Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.