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The hidden homelessness of couch surfing

THERE were 10 more children homeless in the Mid-West in June, compared to May. The figures for “hidden homelessness”, however, where people are couch surfing with friends and family, could push the figures higher. Figures from the Department of Housing relating to the Mid-West show there were 112 dependents homeless during the week of June 19-25, compared to 102 from May 22-28. In total, it found that 317 adults accessed local authority-managed emergency accommodation during the period June 19-25, of which 39 were in Clare and 278 in Limerick. Of these adults, 42 are aged 18-24, 196 from 25-44, 72 from 45-64 and seven are over 65. About two-thirds were in supported temporary accommodation, including hostels, with on-site professional support. Another 82 were in private emergency accommodation, which may include hotels, B&Bs and other residential facilities. The figures compare poorly with June of 2016, when there were 18 homeless adults in Clare and just 19 dependents in the Mid-West. Tracey …

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