Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Impact of Homelessness on Children: Discussion

Mr. Mike Allen:

Each of us is coherent in our own right. All together, however, it may be otherwise. I note the progress made in that regard. About six weeks to two months ago the Minister reconvened or established a new consultative forum with the organisations. It involves all of the key voluntary organisations, including Focus Ireland. It also includes all of the Departments relevant to this issue, with the exception of the Department of Education and Skills. We believe that Department should also be represented. One of the recommendations coming from the forum was that a new data group be set up. The data we use from 2014 did not arise out of the blue. They arose out of collaboration between Focus Ireland, the then Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Trinity College, Dublin and others on how best to count the numbers who were homeless. If we are trying to solve the problem, the last thing we want to do is row about the figures. We should be putting all of our energy into addressing the problem. That involves collaboration at a level which has been lost a little in the crisis. We believe there should be that level of collaboration as a matter of urgency.