Galway homelessness project receives Human Rights and Equality grant funding

Galway Daily news Galway allocated €9 million for LEADER programme 2023-2027

A Galway homelessness project is among those awarded funding for work focused on human rights and equality by the IHRC.

The Irish Human Right Commission has awarded funding to a joint project between the Galway Simon Community and COPE Galway to help homeless people fight for and vindicate their rights.

This will enable those experiencing homelessness to engage with statutory agencies and public bodies to ensure obligations under the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty are met.

Karen Feeney, Head of Client Services from Galway Simon Community said that “It is critical to recognise that those most likely to be affected by homelessness are often the most voiceless in society.”

“Those who are homeless are very vulnerable, and can feel very helpless.  As ‘rights-holders’, they can be very disadvantaged.”

She added that many solutions to the current homelessness and housing crisis underestimate the negative impact this can have on individuals and families.

“”It is critical that those experiencing homelessness are empowered to engage with public bodies. People can only claim their rights when they know about them.”

For this reason Galway Simon Community and COPE Galway are embarking on this project to ensure that clients have an opportunity to understand their rights as well as developing their capacity to engage with Public Bodies, and IHREC when their rights are not being vindicated.”

Now in its fourth year, the 2019 IHRC grant programme awards small grants of up to €6,000 and general grants of up to €20,000.

They support civil society organisations in Ireland promoting the development of economic and social rights across three thematic areas: housing/accommodation, health and decent work.

This year the commission received a total of 112 applications from groups around the country. Of those 28 will receive funding under the 2019 Grant Scheme.

Since 2016 the Commission has supported 108 human rights and equality projects across Ireland including research programmes, training or resource activities, conferences or events and cultural initiatives.