Homelessness among Galway youth on the riseOctober 5, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DARA BRADLEY
Youth homelessness in Galway is on the increase, according to the Galway Simon Community, which is also dealing with more middle-aged people who are experiencing difficulties paying rents, mortgages and household utilities.
Bill Griffin, CEO of Galway Simon, told the Galway City Tribune that the profile of Galway’s homeless is changing.
“The traditionally held view is the 50-odd years old man down the park drinking on a Sunday morning, but homelessness is changing. We’re finding that there is a new group of young people, mostly aged 18 to 25, who are coming out of foster care or statutory care provision and there is no adequate provision made for them.
“We are also seeing an older group, people who would never have thought of being homeless . . . they are having budgetary difficulties, mortgage difficulties or have had their houses taken away,” said Mr Griffin.
He said that 45% of people have mental health issues, and 65% have physical health problems. In many instances, the homeless have issues with alcohol and drug addiction and Galway Simon has a multidisciplinary team to help their clients.
In its annual report for 2011, which was launched this week to coincide with Simon Week 2012, the charity outlined its services.
It provided homeless services to 120 men and women last year. It carried out 2,102 nursing consultations and supported 179 people to address their substance misuse and poor mental health.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.