Since November 2023, an increase in homelessness has been reported within Galway with an increase of individuals seeking emergency accommodation, including a number of children.
Figures released by the Department of Housing show the number of homeless people has increased from 261 in October to 273 in November, including almost 4,000 children across the country.
72% of all homeless people in Ireland are in Dublin. Comparing this with the west (Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon), where the number is four per cent.
For those facing homelessness in the west, the highest number of homeless people are between 25 and 44 years old at 188 individuals, whilst the lowest number are aged 65 years old and older at 10 individuals.
In addition, according to the Homeless Quarterly Progress Report, Quarter 1 2023 one of the highest reasons for households newly entering emergency accommodation was due to Notice of Termination with a number of 238 single households.
The second highest rated reason was Relationship breakdown/Family Circumstance for Family Households at a number of 282.
However, there are many organizations to turn to in Galway for those risking and facing homelessness. Several of these organisations include Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, and Galway City Council.
The Galway Simon Community, an organization focused on helping those facing homelessness, says the “situation will continue to get worse over the coming winter.”
The data taken from the Department of Housing shows a total of 21% non-EEA, 23% EEA/UK , and 56% of Irish are homeless throughout the country.
The CEO of Galway Simon Community, Karen Golden says that “people are having to choose between everyday necessities like food, heat and electricity and paying their rent.”
In response, COPE Galway, a homeless and women’s service, is focused on ending homelessness for those aged 18-24 years old through the Youth Homelessness Strategy 2023-2025.
Within the strategy, there are several aims: preventing young people from entering homelessness; improve young people’s experiences when entering emergency accommodation; and assisting as they leave homelessness.
Including Galway Simon Community and COPE Galway, there are a whole range of other services to turn towards such as Threshold – an advocacy and advice service, and the Social Work Services.