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Valuable work of charities in helping homeless

HOMELESSNESS has become a major problem in Ireland over the past decade. It has been well documented how many families lost their homes because of the financial collapse which devastated many ten years ago.

But before that economic disaster it is important to remember that there have always been homeless people in most, possibly all, of the major cities in this country.

The causes of their problems have ranged from drug and alcohol dependency to mental health issues. Even before the crash there were people living rough because of financial difficulties.

In today's edition we highlight the problems of two people who for very different reasons found themselves with no home. One was alcohol-dependent and it is no exaggeration to say that she could easily have lost her life if she had continued living on the streets and drinking to excess.

The other person is a man who puts his problems down to depression which he blames for the break-up of his marriage and the eventual loss of his home. He admits to considering suicide.

Both now find themselves in a much better situation, one living in her own home while the other if living in a fold.

While their stories are in many ways different both put their current positions down to the interventions of charitable organisation such as The Simon Community, Depaul and the Welcome Centre.

Such success stories are not isolated and prove just how much these and other organisations contribute to the wellbeing of some of the most disadvantaged people in our society.

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