Temple Street Children's University Hospital has claimed that a shocking 842 children who were attending its Emergency Department in 2018 were living in emergency accomodation, or didn't have a fixed address.
This means that there has been a 29 percent increase in the amount of patients who are being discharged into homelessness in Dublin, and one-quarter of the children were under one year old.
In 2017, the number of children discharged from ED who had no fixed address was 651.
The majority children last year presented with medical ailments such as chest infections, seizures, asthma, high temperatures and vomiting.
On the other side, 23 percent of children presented with trauma such as head lacerations, burns, self-harm and hand and arm injuries.
In the final three months of 2018 alone, 260 children attended Temple Street's Emergency Department without a fixed address.
Head Medical Social Worker at Temple Street, Anne-Marie Jones commented on the situation, condemning it as "shameful";
She said: "When these children leave our ED, they stay in temporary accommodation with cramped conditions and no appropriate cooking, washing or play facilities."
She added; "This results in accidents or traumas that wouldn’t normally happen if these families were housed in a family home.”
Dr Ike Okafor, Emergency Medicine Consultant , meanwhile, argued that children's recovery is massively affected by their living situation.
Dr Okafor claims that; "There are children where you do what you can do in hospital, and then you hope they'll go home and recover."
"But these accommodations aren't conducive for recovery for some of the conditions – so they're not the ideal," he said.
He described cases of children undergoing surgery and then having nowhere to go from there, as well as incidents involving children being assaulted trying to find accommodation.
The most recent official homeless figures from November show there were 3,811 children in emergency accommodation that month.
We've all got more than fond memories of tunes such as Gotta Tell You and Always Come Back To Your Love, and soon we'll be hearing brand new music from the versatile singer.
We sat down for a chat with the woman herself, and once our starstruck fever calmed down, we managed to ask her a few questions.
There have been whispers of musical comebacks for many years now, considering her first album Gotta Tell You was released back in 2000 when she was only sixteen-years-old.
While the rest of us were figuring out creative ways to abandon school for a few hours and day-dreaming of Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell, Samantha was making CHUNES.
So why choose now to release her long-awaited album number two? Samantha is a woman of many talents, trying her hand at Masterchef in 2017, as well as appearances in Dancing On Ice and on ITV's Loose Women.
“It’s been in the works for a couple of months, so for me I did Manchester Pride last summer, and I was so blown away by the response. As I was onstage I was literally like, why don’t I have any new music to perform? This is stupid, like it’s ridiculous. I’m one of those people who gets in their own way all the time. Even if I think of doing something, I’ll think of 20 reasons not to do it. I thought, ‘No, enough it enough’. I was afraid to do it again. The timing just feels good, and now I’m seeing that everyone is coming back, I thought, ‘What is going on?’ Hang on a second, I was coming back first!”
Damn right she was. Samantha's popularity with a range of audiences and people of all ages has to be noted, but why do so many listeners seem to relate to her?
“That’s a great question, and I don’t really know the answer. It’s just one of those things, a nostalgia thing. I also think because I was so young when I started, a lot of people literally feel, and they have, like they’ve grown up with me. People have even stopped me in the street to say, ‘Oh hey, how are you?’ as if they know me. I’ve been around for a while, I think there’s that kind of connection where people have really gotten behind me, it’s like I’m a cousin of theirs. It’s that kind of thing, it’s brilliant.”
Samantha still returns home to Dublin fairly regularly, and her little daughter Sage calls it her home too. We wondered if she had stayed up to date on Ireland's current homelessness crisis?
“It’s scandalous, it’s absolutely shocking. That’s why I thought this Just Eat campaign was just such a no-brainer. I’d love if they could double what they did last year, which in itself was incredible. Even especially being home at the minute, and it’s so cold, you just think, ‘Oh my God’, it’s not right. There’s a lot of young kids that are homeless, and it’s heartbreaking. Being a mother now myself, it’s just awful. You never know what goes on in someone’s life, it can happen to anybody, you just never know what kind of bad things could come somebody’s way. It can happen to everybody, and everybody should chip in," she says.
She's partnered up with Just Eat this year for their annual National Takeaway Tuesday to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust, who do vital work for the homeless. To date, Just Eat customers have generated over €50,000 for the Peter McVerry Trust, enough to move five people out of homelessness and into better futures.
Samantha comments; "This takeaway campaign is perfect, because you can order food on a Tuesday, get a 10 percent discount and chip in 10 percent to 2019’s Just Eat charity of choice, the Peter McVerry Trust. So you’re doing something good."
Does she notice the homelessness which is also prevalent in Los Angeles too, while she's spending her down-time there?
“Again, who am I to talk about anything, but there are definite areas. Santa Monica area and Downtown area, what I find is that a lot of the problems there are mental health. These people should be in facilities, in LA for me I notice, it’s a lot more of that. Whereas here, it’s more people who are getting a bad run of things. It just seems to be different circumstances, I suppose," she emphasises.
Her daughter Sage was born in 2015, with her husband Torray Scales. We're immediately jealous of Sage, because she's already heard some of her mum's new material;
‘Nightmare before Christmas is her thing. We listen to that soundtrack, and I love it as well, so it’s great. Sometimes she said, ‘I wanna hear mummy’s songs’, she approves of the new songs, thankfully. She’s very sweet, but other times she’s like, ‘Ok, back to Disney’, she laughs.
“She says she lives in LA and lives in Dublin, she loves being home. She gets totally spoilt rotten at home. The back and forth is her norm, she doesn’t know any different.”
We couldn't let Samantha go without trying to get the dates for her new music to be released, it had to be done. For the good of mankind. Luckily, she was ready for the question;
“I was hoping to have a date already. I have to have it within the next two weeks, because I want my first release to be latest end of March, early April. So we’re working on it. I’d love to have two singles out by the summer, and the album definitely will be later on in the year, but I’m on it.”
Me: “Calm down, Shane. It’s only January 4th.”
Also me: “Okay, Samantha Mumba and Madonna, it’s 2019–where are the new albums?!?”
One core difference between now and when Samantha started is, of course, the power of social media. She's aware of it as a tool, and this time it's going to connect her even more to her fans;
“That’s what I’m enjoying the most, there’s no random people telling me what I have to do, I’m fully in control of everything. That’s kind of the most exciting part for me. The people I’ve been working with in the States are so creative, they’re really pushing me out of my comfort zone.”
In terms of teasing some collaborations in the pipeline, she's revealed a song with MNEK has been created, and we are SO HERE for it. The artist is known for working with some of pop's biggest names, among them are Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson.
“MNEK I have done work with, yes, I adore him. He’s incredible, he’s so talented. I have done one song with him, and I have my core group of people to work with. I think he’ll actually be in LA again in another couple of weeks, so we’ll do another session there as well. I’d love to bring him in with my people, because I think they’d all mesh really well. I’m excited for what that will bring. He’s such a talent and a joy to work with.”
Is there anyone she's especially got her eye on, in terms of new female talent?
“I just discovered her and I’m obsessed, it’s Donna Missal from the US. She’s incredible, I love her."
Samantha is 36-years-old, and time has only given her even more glamour, wisdom and thick-skin for the tough music industry.
Her new album is set to encompass that sense of maturity;
My new music is pop R’N’B, it’s current to where I am, I’m a grown woman who’s lived a life. I have a lot of things to say. I’m just expressing them, and hopefully other women will relate to it."
Samantha is the newest 2019 mood; let her reign begin anew.
Since its inception in 2008, the total amount of money raised for Christmas FM's choice of assorted charities has hit almost €2 million.
Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM commented on the news: “We are delighted to have raised over €400,000 with the success of this year’s fundraising campaign," he said.
"We would like to thank all of our loyal listeners who tuned in and donated so generously to this year’s chosen charity, Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the BAI for granting us the license," he added.
"Of course, the station is so grateful to have so many people who aid in making it all happen by helping with the day to day running of the station".
Chief Executive of the Temple Street Foundation, Denise Fitzgerald, also expressed her delight;
“We are completely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support shown to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital over the course of the Christmas FM campaign."
"The goodwill and generosity of individuals, families, companies and communities up and down the country is hugely uplifting and will bring real and lasting difference to sick children in our critical care wards."
She made sure to thank the team at Christmas FM for choosing them as their charity campaign this year, as well as everyone who donated over the festive season.
This book made me realise just how lucky I am to go home to my warm house in Drimnagh. I’m sure we’re all guilty of complaining about our home. The wallpaper is too old-fashioned. The carpet looks grubby. My room is too small.
But we really have no right to do so, especially when people are sleeping on park benches and in run-down ‘boutique’ hotels.
The story of Ruth and DJ will move you and give you a well-needed reality check.
The single mother and her son never truly fit in, but they never cared about that, once they were always together.
When their home comes under threat, their quiet lives will change forever.
This tale will show you the harrowing realities of homelessness in Ireland. Too many people in our country are fighting similar battles to Ruth and DJ and Tom.
The Peter McVerry Trust provides low-threshold entry services, primarily to younger people and vulnerable adults with complex needs, and offers pathways out of homelessness based on the principles of the Housing First model.
For more information or to donate to this incredibly worthy cause, head over to the Peter McVerry Trust website.
This May bank holiday you can help young Irish homeless people by adding a Euro to your shopping bill.
Today marks the start of the One for Ireland initiative, which will see 800 retailers participating all over Ireland to offer their customers the option to add €1 to their bill when they pay at the till.
Every Euro received over the long weekend will go directly to aiding 3,700 young people without a home.
Ryan Tubridy officially launched this year’s charitable campaign, which is backed by the Irish Youth Foundation.
In addition to Tubridy, Kate O'Loughlin from Limerick joined him at the launch.
The 28-year-old was living in hotel accommodation with her four children until Novas, a voluntary agency that works with disadvantaged families, secured a house for her family.
The allocation came just in time for her fifth child, ten-week-old baby Michael.
He missed being born into homelessness by just one day when she was told she had secured a house while in labour.
Speaking about her experience Kate explained just how difficult being homelessness was:
“I got very depressed and was crying all the time because of the effect on the kids. Novas became my family and helped me through the process of finding my home when I had a premature baby. It felt great to be able to cook, clean, shower and wash our own clothes.”
Niall McLoughlin, CEO, Irish Youth Foundation spoke about this year’s One for Ireland campaign saying:
“The money raised from this campaign will specifically tackle the problems associated with youth homelessness, which is now at crisis level with over 3,755 young people in emergency accommodation. I would like to sincerely thank all the retailers who are participating from Friday to Monday and encourage everyone to give One for Ireland this May Bank Holiday weekend!”
Novas is just one of seven charities that will benefit from all funds raised this weekend. Focus Ireland, The Simon Community, Irish Refugee Council, Sonas Domestic Violence Charity, Barnardos, and Merchant’s Quay Ireland are all included in the initiative.
All funds donated in each area will be used to improve the lives of homeless children and young people living in seven regions throughout Ireland.
At the end of December 2017, there were 818 young people (under 25 years) living in emergency homeless accommodation. By the end of February 2018, this figure had increased to 938 young people living in emergency accommodation in Ireland.
This represents a 14 percent increase in just two months.
If you can’t make it to one of the retailers you can text ONE to 50300 to donate €2.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and Dublin City Council (DCC) confirmed today that the official spring count on rough sleeping identified 110 persons sleeping rough across the Dublin region on the night of 27th March 2018 and into the morning of 28th March 2018.
The DRHE has been responsible for the delivery of rough sleeping counts in Dublin since 2007.
A total of 110 persons are confirmed as rough sleeping in Dublin in Spring 2018.
This is a 40% decrease in the number of individuals sleeping rough in Dublin from 184 in Winter 2017 to 110 in Spring 2018.
Of the 110 persons discovered sleeping rough:
51 persons had a PASS record, 7 persons did not have a PASS record and of the remaining 52, there was insufficient details provided to ascertain whether they had a PASS record;
58% of people were Irish national, 42% were non-Irish nationals and 31 individuals did not have their nationality identified.
90 people were discovered in Dublin City (North and South) and the remaining 20 were located outside Dublin City, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
84% were male, and 16% were female.
Mr. Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive, Dublin City Council welcomed the decrease in the numbers of people sleeping rough and said “We have been working with our charity partners to increase emergency accommodation, and have in the last few months increased capacity by 260 permanent beds."
"This has had a significant positive outcome in terms of decreasing the numbers of people sleeping rough. However, the large number of people sleeping rough is still a serious area of concern and we will continue to work through the Housing First Service to engage with these people and work with them to access appropriate services.”
Simon Delaney and Glenda Gilson have teamed up with Radio Nova to help promote Radio NOVA’s 2018 ‘Help Our Homeless Radiothon'.
The two-day charity event, will take place between February 28 and March 1 will see the much-loved Dublin station turn over its airwaves to raise vital funds from donations from the public and local businesses.
Now in its fourth year, the proceeds from this year's Radiothon will go to Focus Ireland – an organisation working to help people who are homeless or are at risk of losing their homes across Ireland.
A special call centre will be set-up at Radio Nova’s HQ in the Dublin’s Docklands with Focus Ireland staff manning the phones to accept donations during the 48 hour charity pledge drive.
Last year Focus Ireland supported over 700 households to move out of homelessness. However, the overall annual government figures for 2017 show a 17% increase in family homelessness. There was also a shocking 23% increase in the number of children homeless during this same period.
Latest figures show that 8,587 men, women and children are currently homeless.
Nova CEO Kevin Branigan said, “Over the last 3 years the Nova listeners have raised over €130,000.Their generosity up until now has been amazing and we’re convinced they will once again help us in our campaign to raise much needed funds for Focus Ireland.”
Volunteer group, Inner City Helping Homeless will hold a public protest concert outside the gates of Dáil Éireann this week.
The non-profit organisation has arranged the concert in a effort to drive home the message it's latest hashtag campaign #HomelessnessIsNotNormal.
Performers on the day include Glen Hansard, Frances Black, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Emmet Kirwan, with many more musicians, artists, poets and playwrights due to take to the stage.
Clare O Connor, of Inner City Helping Homeless, said the issue is "spiralling out of control" and insisted that urgent action is needed to help those who are sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation.
“ICHH are interacting with up to 200 rough sleepers nightly, there have been seven deaths in the homeless community in the last 12 weeks and Ireland has the fastest growth rates in homelessness in Europe," she said.
“This crisis affects every section of society – rising rents, landlords evicting, mortgage arrears, poverty the lack of social housing and the inefficient spending of tax on emergency accommodation mean this is a national issue.”