The campaign by IMPACT trade union which asked Dublin local election candidates to pledge to protect funding for homelessness services has won support from 106 candidates. IMPACT has published the full list of candidates who support the campaign here.
The union set up an on-line facility to help Dubliners contact their local candidates to seek their commitment that homelessness services won’t be cut in future. IMPACT official Ashley Connolly said the campaign was inspired by Dublin City councillors’ decision to increase homelessness spending in 2014, but said guarantees were needed to protect funding in future years.
“We’re enormously grateful to those candidates who have put their name to our campaign pledge. Since this campaign started, there has been a widespread acknowledgement that the country is in the grip of a homeless crisis. The national debate is now no longer a question of preserving budgets but rather how do we deal with the crisis, both for the short term emergency response and longer term housing policies. There is a huge challenge facing us all on in responding to the homeless crisis but it now looks like the entire political system has woken up to it. Homelessness has moved from the margins to the centre of the debate.”
The chairperson of IMPACT’s Boards & Voluntary Agencies branch, Derek Beattie, said that members’ involvement in the campaign was crucial. “We put a challenge to our members to seek a pledge of support from candidates. They responded, and we seem to have engaged the local election candidates just as national awareness of the seriousness of our homeless crisis has increased. There’s a huge amount of work to be done, and IMPACT members working in homeless services are at the frontline of the response.”