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Ireland to Sign European Declaration on Combatting Homelessness.

In May of this year, EU leaders adopted a set of commitments on Homelessness, these much welcomed commitments to combat homelessness will now be signed by Ireland.

The Declaration on combatting homelessness commits Ireland to working towards the ending of homelessness by 2030. It is the first time such a structure has been put in place at a European level to deal with homelessness. Sophia welcomes this ambitious declaration to end homelessness within the decade.

These are commitments which Sophia is aligned to and we welcome Minister O'Brien's pledge to end homelessness in Ireland by 2030.

Commitment 1.

To promote the prevention of homelessness, access to permanent housing and the provision of enabling support services to the homeless.

This commitment is in line with the Sophia model of care; providing homes with the wrap around supports people need to maintain that home and break the cycle of homelessness. It is the founding principle of Sophia and a commitment we are delighted to see both Ireland the EU align itself to.

Commitment 2.

To welcome the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of these policy measures.

Sophia works with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders to ensure that new homes are being built and families couples and individuals are supported to move out of homelessness. We believe in having the voices of those we support at the centre of what we do.

Commitment 3.

To support our policy measures with adequate funding and, when appropriate, make use of EU funding as a lever to improve the way we address homelessness.

Sophia with the HSE, DRHE, Local Authorities, and the Dept of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is providing homes with supports across Ireland each day. In the coming years, Sophia will build hundreds of new homes across the country with funding support of Local Authorities and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. We welcome the Governments commitment to funding projects which address homelessness and are in line with their first commitment under the declaration to provide homes with supports.

Commitment 4.

To share our good practices in combatting homelessness.

Sophia has worked with a diverse range of European partners to share best practices in supporting people those who have experienced homelessness. Sophia is currently leading a best practice project on incorporating Trauma Informed Care into homeless services with 8 other European partners and has previously co authored a European best practice guide for front line services working with people who have a mental health support need. The Sophia model of care has been highlighted as a best practice model at the United Nations Commission for Social Development in February of 2020.

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