People who are homeless and community rights groups in Ireland have taken over a vacant building in Dublin to provide accommodation.
“Social workers in Ireland are actively involved in the current Apollo House/Home Sweet Home initiative which is providing shelter and support for homeless persons”, said Kerry Cuskelly, social worker in Ireland:
“Social workers are working alongside other social and health care colleagues to offer psycho-social support and coordination efforts to the initiative. The housing crisis in Ireland has been at catastrophic levels for years now, with recent national figures showing that 4,283 adults and 2,426 children are homeless. This is simply unacceptable. People’s human rights are being breached on a daily basis here and as social workers we must take our commitment to social justice seriously and be part of this struggle by working alongside people as they fight for their rights to adequate shelter and social support systems”.
The growth of homelessness in Ireland is a direct consequence of the austerity policies forced on Ireland and many other countries by the European Union. Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General said:
“Austerity is a flawed economic theory that increases debt, unemployment, homelessness, inequality and causes misery upon the lives of people. Social workers work every day with the negative realities imposed on people by austerity. In a context where governments don’t listen or act, people will inevitably find solutions themselves, and social workers will support them, stand alongside them and advocate for their rights. The taking-over of the vacant building in Dublin is a sign of the contemporary civil rights movements and ‘reality politics’ that the world is likely to see much more of in 2017.”
Social workers in the UK are planning to march from Birmingham to Liverpool next year to “Boot Out Austerity: Walking Side by Side for Social Justice” More information will be available on this shortly.