An Eight-Year-Old Says…


From the Ombudsman for Children’s No Place Like Home report

This morning.

The office of the Ombudsman for Children launched its No Place Like Home report outlining the views and experiences of 80 children living in family hubs in Dublin, Cork and Limerick – gathered between October 2018 and January 2019.

Family hubs are “purpose-built or specifically adapted premises” to house children and families who are homeless as an alternative to B&Bs and hotels.

The children who took part were aged between five and 17 while parents of children under the age of five also took part.

In August 2018, there were 580 children under 18 being accommodated in 18 family hubs in the Dublin area. Over half of these children (55 per cent) were aged 5 years or under; 33 per cent were aged 6 to 12 years; and 12 per cent were aged 13 to 17 years.

In addition, as of February 2019, children accounted for over one third (almost 37 per cent) of the 10,264 people accessing State-funded emergency accommodation.

From one section of the report:

“For some children their unhappiness in the hub was so great that, despite their very young age, they tried to run away. Hannah (aged 8), cried and told us that the hub was “like a children’s jail”.

She expressed extreme worry and fear for her younger brother Niall (aged 5) who had tried to run away from the hub on several occasions.

She told us that when her mother was having a shower she would sit on a chair in front of the door so her brother could not run away. Niall had sneaked out of the hub once already and threatened to throw himself out of a bedroom window.”

The report can be read in full here


25 thoughts on “An Eight-Year-Old Says…

    1. Stan

      Because you know that every homeless family is headed by a single mother? Did you bother to find out or did you just look into what passes for a heart in there?

    2. Ian-O

      While you might have been trying to be funny, I think you have subconsciously revealed why you post such bilge.

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    Hostels are not an alternative to hotels and b&bs and that’s all these “hubs” are. Bluepoo thinking, eh?

    1. scottser

      the intention behind the hubs was to remove families from hotels and B&B where there are no facilities whatsoever. it’s a marginal improvement but the danger is that families will get stuck in them.
      some agency somewhere out there knows the total number of children who have been through the homeless system in the past 10 years, not just those currently registered as homeless. this figure, i imagine would be enough to make you sick to the core.

      1. Cian

        why so? if the “number of children who have been through the homeless system in the past 10 years” figure is low – then homelessness isn’t as bad as we may think. On the other hand, if the number is high – then the system works because those children are no longer homeless.

        1. scottser

          arguably the system doesn’t work if such a high number of vulnerable families become homeless in the first place.

          1. Cian

            I agree. There are too many people ending up homeless – and that needs to be fixed.

            But I was talking about the (sub)system that houses people that end up homeless.

            There is a very good chance (because it seems to happen every long weekend) that some family is this minute being kicked out of their home – and they are contacting the local council to look for emergency accommodation, the RTB to prevent the landlord from doing it, and Focus Ireland, and anyone they can. And people in all those organisations will be doing their utmost to ensure the best for this family.

          2. scottser

            in fairness to the system of homeless provision, it was never designed to cope with the number of families it has to support now. ‘traditional’ homeless service funding was put into sheltered type accommodation for single people for donkeys. it’s really only in the last 10 years we’ve seen the amount of homeless families increase to unprecedented levels because of a badly disjointed rental market and lack of construction of new builds.

        2. realPolithicks

          cian, would you ever just fuup off with your constant rationalization of the dreadful conditions these children are forced to live in due to the lack of action by this brutal government that you are so fond of.

  2. Spud

    Glad this work has been done though. Many of our ‘solutions’ aren’t good enough.

  3. eoin

    What this report doesn’t address is the cost to the taxpayer of these facilities. The private sector has built these from scratch or converted existing buildings for a promise of a long term contract to provide accommodation and onsite facilities. These are much more expensive than traditional housing.

    It’s not just the cost to the well-being of the most vulnerable, including children, it’s the €cost to the taxpayer.

    Okay, people say FG are right-wing and a safety net for the most vulnerable isn’t their top priority, but at least they understand how to manage budgets. The evidence from so-called “family hubs” doesn’t support that latter assumption.

  4. Dr.Fart MD

    well. they shouldve thought twice about deciding to be poor then. if you want to live in a Fine Gael ireland, you should be rich. If you’re poor it’s your fault and FG will look on you with disdain and off to a Hub with you. Keep the recovery going!

  5. diddy

    this is the first year since 2007 that Ireland returned a small surplus..the bank bailout! remember that, well it’s affecting big capital spend on infrastructure. whatsmore the days of the state housing the working class are’s a globalised dog eat dog world. the bones of the Irish poor will be crushed

  6. Termagant

    I was most confused listening to the little man on the radio this morning, on the one hand saying how terrible it was that there were families living in hotels, and on the other saying that in the beginning he’d envisaged the hubs as family hostels

    But sure hotels are swankier than hostels

    I’ve been in some very rough hostels in my time

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