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Homelessness continuing to increase in Galway says COPE Galway

COPE Galway this week reported that on June 21st 2019, mid-summers day, 174 households from across Galway City and County were living in emergency accommodation provided via the organisation and a further 24 people were known to be sleeping rough in Galway City.  This represents a 20% increase on the same date in 2018 when the figure stood at 139 households.

COPE Galway conducted their most recent one-day census of the numbers of people in contact with the organisation who were homeless or at risk of homelessness in Galway on June 21st 2019.  The release of these figures by the local Galway charity coincided with the publication of the May 2019 homeless figures by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government which showed the overall figure nationally for the numbers living in emergency accommodation remaining above 10,000 people for the fourth month in a row.

The national figures for May 2019 stood at 10,253 of which 324 adults and 200 children were in the western region including Galway City and County.  COPE Galway are accommodating approximately two thirds of those in emergency accommodation in the west region in association with both Galway local authorities.

“We are continuing to see new people present to us in need of emergency accommodation with first time presentations of 14 families alone in the month of June 2019 and many others remain homeless for extended periods of time” explained Martin O’Connor of COPE Galway.  “As a result of this the numbers in emergency accommodation are remaining persistently high and there are very real concerns that the flow into homelessness is going to continue for some time yet”.

COPE Galway report on a positive note that between January and April 2019 a total of 30 households including 14 families moved into homes of their own from their emergency accommodation and a further 17, mostly single person households, moved into some form of supported or transitional accommodation.

“The numbers securing homes of their own and moving out of homelessness at a local level here in Galway is encouraging and is thanks in no small part to the efforts of both Galway City and County Councils and all of the housing agencies working on the ground” said Mr O’Connor.  “However the continuing growth in homelessness at a local level in Galway again highlights the needs for more housing.  Our two newly elected Galway Councils must make the provision of new additional social housing their number one priority”.

COPE Galway are also asking private property owners in Galway to make contact with them about any housing units they have available with a view to exploring the use of such units to meet the housing needs of people who are without a home in Galway.  “We are anxious to speak to any property owners in Galway who have units available” said Mr O’Connor.  COPE Galway can be contacted at 091 778750.


Note to Editor:

COPE Galway is a local Galway organisation whose vision is an “Improved Quality of Life in a Home of your Own” for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and older people.

In 2018 COPE Galway worked with 949 adults and 457 children affected by homelessness in Galway, including 186 families and 612 single people. They also worked with 457 individual women and their children who were experiencing domestic abuse; produced and delivered 59,053 meals to older clients and for our services around Galway; worked with 730 older people at risk of isolation and supported 3,263 individuals through the FEAD programme (Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived).


For more information:

Phone 091 778750 / Email

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