The people of Galway have been asked to join Galway Simon Community this week in asking the government to ‘Stop Homelessness Before it Starts’.
The annual ‘Simon Week’, taking place this week until Sunday 4 October, sees the Simon Communities across the country campaigning on behalf of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“At the Simon Communities, we believe that the government has a responsibility to put prevention measures in place to stop people becoming homeless,” said Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community.
“In the West of Ireland and across the country, there has been hugely positive work going on throughout Covid-19 and we believe we have an opportunity now to build on this collaborative work. We can make this happen, but we can’t do it alone.”
The Simon Communities have three key demands for the government as part of the ‘Stop Homelessness Before It Starts’ campaign:
- A comprehensive Homelessness Prevention Strategy must be put in place with ring-fenced funding in budget 2021 to stop homelessness before it starts.
- Ensure that 50% of all new social housing are one and two bed units, providing an average of 7,500 one and two bed social homes each year. This will help to develop the housing infrastructure we need to stop homelessness before it starts.
- Increase protection for renters, to ensure that tenants cannot be evicted into homelessness.
“We must redouble our collective efforts to prevent more people from having to enter Emergency Accommodation over the Winter months, when the usual challenges relating to weather will be compounded by Covid-19,” Karen added.
“Now more than ever, it is essential that people have somewhere to call home to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
“That’s why this Simon Week, we are asking people to stand with us to ask that the new government makes stopping homelessness a priority.
“We are asking people to visit act.simon.ie, to send an email to the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, and their local TDs to make their voice heard.”