Over 200 homeless or at risk

THE importance of services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Kilkenny has been highlighted in a report by Kilkenny Local Authorities.

THE importance of services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Kilkenny has been highlighted in a report by Kilkenny Local Authorities.

Last year there were 178 "homeless referrals" to the Kilkenny Homeless Action Team, five of which were couples.

There were also 28 "potentially homeless referrals", including one couple, and 34 "generic housing queries" to the group. The figures are outlined in the Kilkenny Local Authorities Annual Housing Report for 2010.

The Housing Action Team provides support services to people who find themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness in Kilkenny city and county. Emergency cover was put in place over public holiday periods and during the severe cold weather spells at the start and end of 2010. This service was provided in collaboration with Amber women's refuge, the Good Shepherd Centre and the Health Service Executive (HSE), the report noted.

The report also highlighted the services provided by the Good Shepherd Centre, which marked 21 years in operation last year. Good Shepherd "has met the needs of over 3,500 homeless men in that period of time (and) currently the centre meets the needs of over 120 men a year," the report stated.

To mark its 21st anniversary, the Good Shepherd Centre also compiled an information guide, which is now available.