The GAA could do so much more to help the marginalised in ou

The GAA could do so much more to help the marginalised in ou

Postautor: pinkpink » 27 gru 2017, o 11:40

As Jim Dennison from the Simon Community outlined the extent of the poverty and homelessness in Belfast, the younger players were clearly taken aback. Jim had joined the street sleepers at Cornmarket in the city to thank the group. I asked him to talk about the scale of the problem.
The Simon Community has 110 beds in their city hostels. They are supposed to be emergency beds. Twenty five years ago, this is what they were. So, in the mid-1990s, the average length of tenancy of a room in the Simon was ten days. Today, the average tenancy is 13 months. It is no longer emergency accommodation. It is a place for people to live.
Twenty five years ago, houses and flats were affordable for everyone. This is because the unwritten social contract in those days was that a house was a place for human beings to live. But towards the end of the '90s, homes became Womens Zach Bogosian Jersey a commodity to be traded like any other. Suddenly, the places where human beings were sheltered, where we cooked, and made love, and reared youngsters, and grew old, became known as The Property Market. With lightning speed, homes became dehumanised. Now, they were items to be traded, like stocks and shares, or gold, or bitcoin.
Hedge funds and investors began buying up vast swathes of houses to add to their portfolios. The people who lived in houses, giddy with excitement, sold them at a profit and moved somewhere cheaper. The intrinsic worth of a house, its social purpose, were irrelevant. The only question was: How much can I get for it? As prices sky-rocketed, the newspapers gushed over the gold rush, producing glossy Property Market supplements. These don't usually feature photographs of the homeless littering the streets.
When I went to Trinity College in 1987, I visited the Caffreys on Iona Road with my parents. Mae is the mother of John Caffrey, the Dublin footballer from the 1983 All-Ireland champions, and Paul, the Dublin manager before Pat Gilroy. She urged my folks to Authentic Mats Sundin Jersey buy the house next door. It was a fine, five-bedroom red-brick terrace. It was on the market for IR£25,000. My parents balked at the price and decided to pass. A few years ago, I saw the same house in The Irish Times property supplement. It was on the market for offers over €895,000.
As house prices became perverse, houses soon became unaffordable for large numbers of our citizens. With fewer and fewer people owning more and more of the houses, people were forced to rent. As the problem worsened, rents quickly became more or less unaffordable.
In the North, the government initiative that allowed Housing Executive tenants to buy their home was the final chapter in this grotesque tale. The tenants bought them cheap, then sold them on, on the basis of the illusion that they had made a great profit. Then they bought somewhere else slightly cheaper, only to find they had lost their home and society.
Overnight, the Northern Ireland government washed its hands of its responsibility to provide homes for those in need. Public housing disappeared. It is the same story in the south, where successive governments sat back and let the market dictate.
I had a case last week involving a couple and their two young children. They have a total income of £242 per week. Their rent is £600 per month. They are living in poverty. They are visiting food banks. The parents are eating as little as possible to make sure the children, aged six and three, do not go without. They are exhausted and demoralised. I sat quietly outside Court 1 as this young mother wept.
It is a national disaster. Jim Dennison told us last Saturday in Cornmarket that there are 80,000-100,000 homeless people in the North alone. I could see Chrissy McKaigue shaking Clay Harbor Authentic Jersey his head in disbelief.
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