Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese Praises Sophia at United Nations Event

Speaking at the United Nations Commission for Social Development, Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese called for an end to the shameful mess that is homelessness. Recalling her own experience of homelessness after her family were forced from their home during the troubles, President McAleese spoke of how the trauma of homelessness reveals itself over time, that even in this short time, the trauma of being without home had a long shelf life.

During her key note address to the United Nations, President McAleese praised Sophia for its two decades of quite holistic approach to housing first and the radial yet simple idea on which Sophia was founded; that everyone deserves a home of their own as quickly as possible . Describing the radical idea as an idea whos time has come. It’s not enough to just give someone a key to a home, to help heal the trauma of homelessness it’s important to stay with them for the journey.

President McAleese called on the countries present to build safe, affordable and decent places to live and to find and implement the solutions that will assign homelessness to history.

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s2smodern

Oireachtas Reports on Child Homelessness and it's Impact

Sophia warmly welcomes The Child and Family Homelessness report by the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government and The Impact of Homelessness on Children report, by the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.  
 
These reports have brought forward positive solutions to how Government should have the best interests and needs of families at the centre to ending homelessness.
 
The ending of one night only emergency accommodation is at the heart of the Sophia Model. Our service was founded on the knowledge that people need not just a bed for the night but a home for life. 
 
Through our nurturing centres and wrap around holistic supports Sophia also fundamentally agrees with the recommendation that the best interests of the child must be taken into account by Local Authorities when providing homeless accommodation and supports. Sophia is lucky to work with a number of Local Authorities across the country who share our vision and who see the needs of homeless families and the model of work here in Sophia as being a positive solution to these needs. Both national and local government have backed Sophia financially to grow our services to reach even more people in the coming years. 
 
Sophia does not own or operate family hubs, we again see long term supported accommodation as being key to helping families breaking a cycle of homelessness. The commissioning of an independent evaluation into the sustainability of family hubs and introducing reforms to improve the wellbeing of homeless children are particularly welcome recommendations. 
 
A rights based approach to housing is something that Sophia advocates for along with our European Partners in SMES Europa and changes to the laws and constitution in Ireland to recognises the right to housing. 
 
Sophia is growing its services to reach more of the most vulnerable in irish society, the provision of housing, affordable, social and supported are all needed to reverse the ever growing levels of homelessness in Ireland. Sophia looks forward to actions based on todays recommendations to bring much needed support to those most affected by the housing and homelessness crisis in ireland. 
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s2smodern

Homeless Figures In Ireland Are Not Normal

For eight months the number of people homeless in Ireland has been over 10,000 p. For the month of September once again a record number of people in this country are homeless 10,397. That is more than the population of Gorey who have no home in Ireland today, more people homeless than the population of Tuam who are homeless in Ireland today, almost twice the population of Kinsale who have no home in Ireland today.

This is not normal or acceptable in Ireland today.

Of those who are homeless 3873 are children and 2743 are women meaning that the majority 63% of all homeless people in Ireland are women and children. This is not normal this is not acceptable.

It is also worth reminding everyone that these figures do not include people who are rough sleeping or the hidden homeless in Ireland or many others who when added to the official figures would gives a true picture of how Ireland is treating the most vulnerable in our society today.

Sophia’s model of housing with supports gives people the dignity of living in a home of their own along with the wrap around supports needed to recover from the trauma of homelessness. Our model helps people maintain a tenancy and break the cycle of homelessness. 

This is a model that works and one that is being backed by local and national government and by Religious Congregations to grow over the coming years to support hundreds of more families across Ireland. This is normal, this is the Ireland that we need to be, supporting and counting the most vulnerable in our society and helping bring homelessness to an end in Ireland.

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s2smodern