Unique event to explore best practice in preventing homelessness in Galway City

Ned Brennan, Chief Operations officer with Respond will speak at  an upcoming event exploring best practice in preventing homelessness happening in Galway on Monday 26th February 2018.

In a first for Galway, all the organisations concerned with homelessness in Galway City have come together to organise a unique event next Monday that will explore innovative solutions to the prevention of homelessness in Galway City, now and into the future.

The morning session will be chaired by Professor Siobhán Mullally, established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and the afternoon will be chaired by Anastasia Crickley, outgoing chairperson of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, an expert on human rights.

Martin O’Connor of COPE stated, ‘Homelessness has become an all too real fact of life in our city over recent years.  We have experienced a growth in family homelessness with some families living in emergency accommodation in hotels and B&B’s for extended periods of time and we regularly see people sleeping rough in shop doorways in our city centre.  Our aim with this event is to help shape local responses to these needs and to help stem the flow of even more families and individuals into homelessness by identifying ways to prevent this happening’.

With speakers from Respond Housing, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance and others, the organisers hope to identify initiatives from across the country that might be adopted or adapted to address homelessness in Galway. Commenting, Paul Hargaden of Respond Housing Association stated, ‘This Galway Housing Conference affords a unique opportunity to examine the underlying issues which have contributed to the current housing crises and creates a platform to develop a collaborative approach to seeking sustainable solutions.’

The organisations have come together under the umbrella of the Galway City Community Network, the Public Participation Network in Galway City and include COPE Galway, Threshold, Galway Simon Community, Respond Housing, Clúid Housing, Galway Traveller Movement, the Community Knowledge Initiative NUI Galway, Galway Co-operative Housing and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Speaking about the collaborative nature of the event, Ann Irwin of Galway City Community Network stated, ‘It was very important for all of the organisations that we take a collaborative, partnership approach to addressing the issue of homelessness in Galway city. We found that there was real strength in working together and we are looking forward to exploring solutions to homelessness with participants from a range of organisations and the local authority on Monday’.

Concluding, Karen Golden CEO of the Galway Simon Community stated, ‘Galway Simon Community is delighted to be involved in this collaboration with all of the organisations working to address homelessness in Galway.  Combining our collective local experience with the expertise of others working to address the crisis elsewhere will enable us all to work on constructive solutions focused on preventing families and individuals at risk of homelessness in Galway entering emergency accommodation while also improving outcomes for those who have no option but to access homeless services.’

Posted:  21st February 2018