Minister needs to meet with Salvation Army over the closure of children-only hostel
Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien to meet with the Salvation Army who run Lefroy House an emergency child only night shelter for homeless for homeless teenagers.
The centre caters for seven young people, male and female between the age of 12 and 18 who are homeless, out of placement or unable to return to family.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The Minister needs to step in and meet with the Salvation Army who run this facility and to try and source another service provider to allow this vital service to remain operational.
“Aged out homelessness is a big issue, particular with children transitioning from foster care or other instutional settings such as places of detention, when young people become homeless they embark on a circuit of moving between hostels, B&Bs and even hospitals.
“At a time of a housing crisis and during the worst global health crisis in 100 years, there is a need for a specialist service like this in order to cater for young people who have nowhere else to go and other services won’t cater for. Both the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Children need to step in here in order to retain this vital service.
“There needs to be much more of an emphasis by Government in relation to a specific housing first strategy for homeless teenagers and it could start by moving the seven teenagers in this accommodation into secure and permanent housing.
“Homeless teenagers who are estranged from their families are not even counted in homeless figures and more resources need to be targeted at this critical age group. There are 741 people homeless between the age of 18 and 24 and we need a specific youth homeless strategy targeted at this age group.