IMPACT to launch homeless pledge campaign

IMPACT’s Boards and Voluntary Agencies branch is to seek commitments from Dublin local election candidates that they will protect local authority homelessness budgets from further cuts.

The decision to run the campaign follows last week’s budget vote at Dublin City Council, which reversed €6 million in proposed cuts and instead increased funding for homeless and disability services in the city’s 2014 budget. IMPACT had called on Dublin City Council to reconsider the proposed cuts ahead of the vote.

IMPACT official Ashley Connolly said councillors had done the right thing by taking a strong position on the proposed cuts. “This is the first bit of good news for Dublin’s homeless services in several years, as cuts have been the norm since 2008. Redundancies, reduced hours and reduced budgets have put enormous pressure on services throughout that time. This is good news, but we need to keep fighting for homeless budgets to be maintained,” she said.

Ashley said the May local elections provided an opportunity for IMPACT members to seek a commitment from candidates in all four Dublin councils to extend the protection of the homeless services budget beyond 2014.

“IMPACT members need all candidates seeking election in May to understand how important it is to protect these services. The number of homeless people on Dublin streets continues to rise. We will seek a pledge from every candidate to protect the homeless services budget throughout the next local government term,” she said.