'Homeless and losing your home?' is a useful guide of homeless services and supports in the Greater Dublin Area. As the homeless situation continues to deteriorate especially in Dublin, Crosscare has identified that homeless people, and in particular those facing homelessness for the first time, can be overwhelmed by the range of services they need to access to get help.
Compiled by Crosscare Information and Advocacy Service (comprised of Crosscare Housing and Welfare Information, Crosscare Refugee Service and Crosscare Migrant Project), the quick reference guide was launched on Monday 12th October 2015 at Mansion House by Lord Mayor, Críona Ní Dhalaigh, who described it as "an excellent resource to help guide people who unfortunately find themselves either at risk of losing their home or newly homeless".
The guide has pulled together in an easy format the contact details and a brief description of the range services available to those at risk of losing their home or those who are sleeping rough. The system can be complex and difficult to understand and this can be heightened if a family or individual is in the middle of a crisis situation.
The Guide is primarily aimed at those who come into contact with people who are at risk of homelessness, such as doctors, teachers, social workers and public health nurses. Often these groups can identify people at risk but may not have the most up to date information on where to direct them. By informing the person, or even making contact with the services on behalf of the family or person in need, their chances of securing help can increase greatly.
Ciara Mc Grath from Crosscare's Housing & Welfare Service said anyone who is homeless or about to lose their home can easily get overwhelmed by services which are supposed to help – "This guide breaks down the maze of services available and tries to direct people to the correct service for them – sadly in our experience, we find people have spent more time sleeping rough than may have been necessary for the want of basic information. We also know from our work that teachers in schools, GP's or community nurses really want to help people at risk, but even they can find it hard to ring the right number to get the case moving faster".
To date the Guide has been made available to all parishes in the Archdiocese of Dublin, St. Vincent De Paul, the Dublin Regional Homeless executive, hospitals and libraries. Thousands more are due for distribution in the coming weeks and it is planned to make the information available in a number of different languages.
Crosscare encouraged of the general public to make themselves aware of the guide and if they are encountering people who need support to use it as a guide and resource for them.