Traveller organisations in Kerry and Cork are calling for the establishment of a task force in the three local authorities across the region to uncover the true extent of homelessness experienced by Travellers.
Speaking ahead of the launch of research into the subject, spokesperson Margarita O’Driscoll said Travellers deserve safe homes where families can be secure and where children can grow up and fulfil their potential.
“Right now the scale of Traveller homelessness in Cork and Kerry is far greater than is captured in official statistics,” she said.
“if local authorities are not even acknowledging the true extent of homelessness in our community, the cycle of poverty will never be broken and our children will never know what it means to grow up feeling safe and affirmed,” Ms O’Driscoll said.
They want local authorities to set up a task force to uncover the true extent of homelessness in each local authority area and to ensure accurate data is collected and an action plan for each area is designed and implemented.
Katie Coffey of the Kerry Traveller Health and Community Development Project said the solution is in the hands of local authorities.
“We need them to stop blocking homes for Travellers. We know from experience that where there is political and executive leadership, it translates into secure homes and our community being able to thrive,” she said.
A report entitled Traveller Homelessness: A Hidden Crisis, to be launched on Monday., details the causes of Traveller homelessness and how it can be addressed.
The report reveals that one in five Traveller families in the south west were homeless in 2018.
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