"London Irish Centre has assisted over 100 clients under the age of 30 during 2016 seeking support either to return to Ireland or to find hostel accommodation in London. A typical client profile from this cohort would be male, possibly with substance and/or mental health problems, low levels of educational attainment, and sometimes fleeing situations of risk, either here (in the case of returnees) or in Ireland. We are able to provide advice on and, where available, access to, emergency accommodation, benefits entitlement, and to offer realistic guidance regarding the challenges facing those intending to settle.
John is 28 years old and of Irish descent. He decided to come to London a couple of years ago, to start a new life here and things had been going very well for him, he had been working and privately renting up until December 2016.
Unfortunately, in December he no longer had work and consequently lost his accommodation and he found himself on the streets. Whilst living on the streets he was attacked, robbed, and sustained a head injury. This attack resulted in him being hospitalised for two days so that tests could be carried out. John had limited options in terms of housing and as he had no income, starting a benefits claim would take time before he would receive a payment. John had no support, we discussed returning to Ireland as he would have more opportunities available to him there. Thanks to the Irish Youth Foundation Grant that LICC had been given we were in a position to assist John by paying for his coach ticket back to Cork.”
“Bridget and Andrew are a young couple who came over from Ireland last year wanting to settle permanently as Andrew had secured employment. They were staying in a B&B until a room they were planning to rent became available. The landlord of the room contacted Bridget and Andrew to inform them there would be a delay of 8 days before they could move in. They did not have the funds to pay for the B&B for that length of time.
LICC used a grant from IYF to pay for the B&B. This prevented Bridget and Andrew from the choice of either returning home to Dublin or sleeping rough here in London.
Bridget commented that “without the help of the emergency funding we could have ended up on the streets”