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Thank you so much for adding your voice for children. We’ll keep you updated on how this petition goes and let you know when we’re presenting it to our Government. Can you please take a minute to share this, and help us get more signatures?
Over 3000 children are currently living in emergency accommodation.
Life for a family in emergency accommodation is difficult. Eating, studying, sleeping, playing, dressing and clothes-drying all happen within the same small four walls. Children share beds with their siblings and often their parents. Families live out of suitcases, having given away or stored many of their belongings, never settling, always aware that they may have to move on.
Being homeless takes a significant toll on a child’s health and development. They often experience anxiety as they fret over their future and see the strain on their parents who no doubt display signs of worry and distress. “I am keeping my kids positive but deep down I am falling apart”, one parent living in emergency accommodation told us. “I cried for the first two weeks in there, I sobbed my heart out in the bathroom, it makes you feel like a failure as a mother” said another.
Over half of families experiencing homelessness in Dublin are currently housed in hotels and B&Bs, this is outrageously inappropriate accommodation for children. Family hubs have been developed as an alternative option for homeless families. While hubs are indeed a more appropriate setting for children they absolutely cannot become a long-term solution. The experience of being homeless – of living in any kind of emergency accommodation, is hugely detrimental to a child’s wellbeing. Parents that we work with are reporting high levels of anxiety in their children as they try to cope with a life of uncertainty. These experiences and memories will stick with these children forever. Children need the consistency, safety and stability of their own home. Every day in homelessness is a day too long for a child.
Barnardos is calling on the Government to guarantee that no child spends more than six months in emergency accommodation – ensuring an appropriate long-term solution at the end of this period. Thank you for adding your voice.