Homelessness Taskforce meets to discuss Youth Homelessness Strategy

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD met with the High Level Homelessness Taskforce this morning to discuss the development of the Youth Homelessness Strategy.

The meeting also addressed the ongoing work to protect homeless people at risk of Covid-19 as the vaccine strategy is rolled out.

The High Level Homelessness Taskforce is made up of representatives from the Peter McVerry Trust, Dublin Simon Community, Focus Ireland, Threshold, DePaul, CrossCare and the Dublin Region Homelessness Executive and meet regularly by videoconference.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said. “Members of the Taskforce were asked to consider their current role in supporting young people experiencing homelessness, what services they are currently providing to young people in homeless services and what are the key challenges to address youth homelessness from a service provision viewpoint.

“I am very grateful to all members for their input which will better inform the response of my Department who will now develop the proposals and inputs into a more detailed policy document.

“Central to this will be a cross-Departmental collaboration and this paper will be informed by further engagement with the Minister and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

“I look forward to meeting with Minister Roderic O’Gorman on the matter and to reaching realisable solutions which will not only meet the specific needs of those young people who do end up experiencing homelessness but importantly, prevent young people from becoming homeless in the first place.

“Addressing the role that Task Force member organisations have played in terms of protecting vulnerable homeless individuals during the pandemic the Minister said, “relative to the wider population the rates of infection have been well managed, especially given the vulnerable nature of those in homelessness and the congregated nature of many settings. This is testament to the ongoing hard work of frontline local authority and service provider staff, including those organisations represented on the Taskforce. While vaccinations are being rolled out, there is a need for continued vigilance and I am committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that those experiencing homelessness are being provided with all the supports and protections necessary,” he concluded.