Models of sustainable service provision for homeless people in non-metropolitan areas.
Economic and social changes are leading to an increased incidence of homelessness in Ireland, not alone in metropolitan areas but also in regional areas. Deinstitutionalisation within the mental health sector has been identified as a major contributor to the problem. Those experiencing homelessness may also now be significantly different to the traditional stereotype of the single, middle aged male; many women and children now experience homelessness. In regional areas, in particular, appropriate services to meet the needs of divergent service-users may not exist. There exists a significant degree of overlap between agencies involved with homeless people, leading to duplication of service provision and confusion regarding agency responsibility: there are resultant gaps in service provision.
Current services are highly dependent on voluntary input, often with minimal or no formal training provision. The proposed research connects with current research in IT Sligo into volunteerism and service provision to the youth sector but seeks to identify the issues specifically generated by a transient and marginalized population group. The research will also directly address the issues generated by the significant erosion of the voluntary ‘pool’ of staff traditionally utilized by services for homeless people.
The Research Team
Dr. Eleanor Fitzmaurice Principal Researcher Department of Business & Humanities, IT, Sligo.
Ms. Sheila Bourke Research Student Department of Business & Humanities, IT, Sligo.