Local charity highlights surge in “hidden homeless” during pandemic

Photo from Mid West Simon

The CEO of Midwest Simon says she’s expecting a surge in the amount of ‘hidden homeless’ as a result of Covid-19.

The charity, which operates housing services and a food bank for north Tipperary, Limerick and Clare, is providing supplies to 8,300 families in the region – a rise of 1,300 since the lockdown began.

It’s continuing to appeal for financial and food donations as revenue streams have dried up.

CEO Jackie Bonfield believes the true scale of the Covid-19 crisis is hidden, with many people returning to their family homes recently:

“We’re going to see a lot of people who’ve lost their jobs, are now living with parents, other family members or friends. And, in effect, they are couch surfing because the home they’re in is not their home and they are effectively guests.

“So I do think there is going to be some terrible and traumatic stories that we’ll hear coming out of this pandemic. And it might take six months or a year for that to happen. But we are looking at another turn, and I think the homeless sector is going to be very badly hit.”