Report Reveals Plight Of Homeless Young People

A new report by the Ombudsman for Children has revealed the “embarrassment, anxiety and shame” felt by young people who have to present themselves at gardai stations to access emergency accommodation.

Currently any person under eighteen in need of emergency accommodation must wait until 11pm and then go to a Garda station, then wait for a duty social worker to organise emergency care.

The report consulted 15 children and young people aged between 16 and 19 who had experienced homelessness services and found “almost all of the children who had experience of accessing emergency accommodation recalled that having to do so had made them feel embarrassed, ashamed or anxious”.

Many said “uncertainty” had been an integral part of their overall experience.

Emily Logan was citing findings from a report by her office, Homeless Truths: Children’s Experience of Homelessness in Ireland, published yesterday to coincide with International Day for Street Children.

All spoke of how significant a difference the kindness and thoughtfulness of individual staff made to their experience.

One homeless child quoted in the report spoke of an out-of-hours social worker that “was real funny. And he just kept telling me loads of jokes and . . . I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much . . . They’re actually very good”.


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