no place like home 5TH AND 6TH CLASSES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL A RESOURCE ON HOMELESSNESS FOR VALUE OF 50

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1 no place like home A RESOURCE ON HOMELESSNESS FOR 5TH AND 6TH CLASSES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL no place like home A RESOURCE ON HOMELESSNESS FOR 5TH AND 6TH CLASSES IN PRIMARY SCHOOL VALUE OF 50

2 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 1 NO PLACE LIKE A Resource on Homelessness for Fifth and Sixth Classes in Primary Schools Written by Beth Hickey Mary Immaculate College ~UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK~

3 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 2 To protect the identity of our customers the photos in this publication are not those of people who are out of home

4 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 3 NO PLACE LIKE FOREWORD There are up to 5,000 people who are homeless in Ireland at any one time. These people are made up of families, children & young people, single and married people. The experience of homelessness is a damaging one for anyone living without a home. It impacts on all areas of their lives and impacts especially on the lives of children. Most of us are lucky enough to be unable to even imagine what it is like to be without a home. Imagine what it s like having nowhere to be relaxed, feel safe, for children to play, and laugh. Sadly this is the reality for nearly one thousand young people who are homeless in Ireland. They often have to move with their families from one place to another, changing schools and losing touch their friends. Focus Ireland believes that everyone has a right to a place they can call home. We have worked since 1985 to support the needs of people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. We work strongly in the area of prevention and believe by providing the right services we can stop many becoming homeless in the first place. Over the years Focus Ireland has worked hard to make sure we provide the highest level of service to our customers. We are constantly working towards achieving a situation where the essential supports and services are in place so everyone has access to a place to live which is appropriate, private, safe, secure and affordable. One of the important challenges in this work is developing a wider understanding that a home is much more than just four walls and that a range of supports - both community and statuary based - are required to help create an environment that will live up to accepting and achieving the vision that everyone has a right to place called home. Another challenge can be breaking down stereotypes. Most people think of homelessness and see a person sleeping outside on the street, while this is still an issue people sleeping rough has reduced over the past few years and the face of homelessness has changed. We all carry stereotypes around with us and pass judgement on things we see. But how much do we really know about homelessness? I believe that this excellently written and produced resource for National school children will help you and your students learn valuable information about the issue of homelessness. I hope it will help develop a better understanding of the issues and what some people go through. It will no doubt help to break down some of the stereotypical images many people have of homelessness and it might also teach us all to appreciate what we are lucky enough to have a little bit more. Any students or teachers who would like additional information about Focus Ireland can log on to or call us at I d like to finish off by paying a special thanks to all at the Curriculum Development Unit in Limerick for the tireless work put into producing this resource and also to our own Focus Ireland team in Limerick, Peter and Sarah for the time and effort put into this resource. Declan Jones, Chief Executive, Focus Ireland 3

5 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS No Place Like Home is a result of the commitment, support, energy and knowledge of many people. In particular, we would like to thank the following for their contributions: PILOT SCHOOLS No Place Like Home was piloted in Fifth and Sixth classes in Limerick and Tipperary schools during May We gratefully acknowledge the work and enthusiasm of the children, principals and teachers of the participating schools. Ballinahinch National School, Ballinahinch, Co. Tipperary Principal: Mr. Tony Hartnett Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Class Teacher Corpus Christi Primary School, Moyross, Limerick Principal: Ms. Áine Cremin Teachers: Ms. Stephanie Moran, Sixth Class; Mr. Tiernan O Neill, Sixth Class; Ms. Clara Conway, Fifth Class; Ms. Sue Kenny, Fifth Class Scoil Íde, Corbally, Limerick Principal: Mr. Peter Long Teachers: Mr. Tom Hartney, Sixth Class; Ms. Maureen Hobbins, Sixth Class; Mr. Joe O Sullivan, Sixth Class; Mr. Mark Gleeson, Fifth Class; Mr. Colm O Connor, Fifth Class; Ms. Kitty Ryan, Fifth Class MEMBERS OF THE PROJECT STEERING COMMITTEE Ms. Lorraine Darcy, Education Officer, Focus Ireland, Dublin Mr. Peter Lewis, Manager, Focus Ireland, Limerick Ms. Mairéad McCann, Information Officer, Focus Ireland, Dublin Ms. Eucharia McCarthy, Director, Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College Ms. Sarah Murphy, Focus Ireland, Limerick Ms. Alanna O Beirne, HPO for Primary Schools, Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College Ms. Beth Hickey, Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT Ms. Mairéad Horan, Administrator, Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College GRAPHIC DESIGN By Ms. Patricia McNamara and Kevin Gurry PROOF-READING Dr. Kathleen Horgan, Education Department, Mary Immaculate College We are also grateful for the help and support of Ms. Áine Ní Fhlatharta and Ms. Geraldine Hickey. Focus Ireland acknowledges the assistance of: Rosemarie Fitzgerald, Manager Suaimhneas; Claire Schofield CD VEC, Dublin; Janice O Rourke, Manager, Childcare Centre, Johns Lanes West; Caroline Maher (Project Leader) and Ellen O Leary (Project Worker) Georges Hill Housing; Brenda Dempsey, Project Leader (coffee shop) and Evette Archer (Project Worker) Focus Ireland Coffee shop, Eustace St.; Niall Cusack, Emma Staerck, Lorraine Darcy (Education Officer), Mairéad McCann (Information Officer) Focus Ireland, High St, Dublin; Peter Lewis, Manager Focus Ireland Limerick; Louise Wilkinson, Project Worker, Margaret Mulqueen, Gillian Dennehey and Jessie Keane (Focus Ireland, Limerick); Lizzy Noone, Concern Worldwide - Development Education Team; Ms C Doyle & 4th class, St. Brendan s National School, Loughshinny, Co. Dublin; All the customers of the transitional and long term housing programmes in Limerick and Georges Hill in Dublin who participated and also the customers of Suaimhneas (service for homeless women with children) and the childcare centre in Johns Lane West who drew pictures. Design and layout by Patricia McNamara Graphic Design (061) and Kevin Gurry (086) Printed and produced in Ireland Schools that are availing of this programme may copy pages for use with students and parents only. In any other instance prior permission must be secured from the CDU Director, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland. Tel: (061) Focus Ireland / Curriculum Development Unit 2007

6 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 5 NO PLACE LIKE CONTENTS Overview of Homelessness 6 Glossary of Terms 10 Aonad 1: Home Sweet Home 11 Considering my home How important is home? Home-based activities A house versus a home Aonad 2: No Home To Go To 19 Case studies How it feels to be homeless Definition of homelessness Examining the causes of homelessness Developing an understanding of the effects of homelessness Developing empathy Facts and figures on homelessness Aonad 3: Let s Get It Right! 35 Rights of all children Rights of the homeless Constitutional issues Aonad 4: Understanding Housing 47 Tenure type Housing challenges Aonad 5: Global Homelessness 55 Overview Refugees and asylum seekers Make Poverty History campaign Aonad 6: Ireland s Homeless - Past, Present and Future 65 The Poor Law and The Great Famine Current situation Future implications Aonad 7: Tune In To The News 71 Stereotypes: - TV and media - Among the children themselves/society Newsworthiness Aonad 8: Finding the Way Home 79 What can be done? Focus Ireland services How can I make a difference? List of relevant websites 89 Curriculum Links 90 Curaclam na Bunscoile 93 5

7 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 6 NO PLACE LIKE Homelessness An Overview Definition of Homelessness According to the Housing Act 1988: A Person shall be regarded as being homeless if: a. there is no accommodation available which, in the opinion of the authority, he together with any other person who normally resided with him or might be reasonably expected to reside with him, can reasonably occupy or remain in occupation of, or; b. he is living in a hospital, county home, night shelter or other such institution and is so living because he has no accommodation of the kind referred to in paragraph (a) and he is, in the opinion of the Authority, unable to provide accommodation from his own resources. However, Focus Ireland includes three categories in their definition of homeless (O'Sullivan, 1996): Visible Homeless: those sleeping rough and/or those accommodated in emergency shelters or Bed and Breakfasts Hidden Homeless: those families or individuals involuntarily sharing with family and friends, those in insecure accommodation or those living in housing that is woefully inadequate or sub-standard At risk of Homelessness: those who currently have housing but are likely to become homeless due to economic difficulties, too high a rent burden, insecure tenure or health difficulties. People who are without a home find the label 'homeless' difficult to accept. They feel the stigma of homelessness very acutely and they feel that the word 'homeless' carries much of that stigma with it. The word they use themselves to describe their period of homelessness is 'out': 'When I was out', 'We were out for nearly a year'. This expression is less offensive to the people undergoing the experience. It suggests that the experience is not permanent, that they have a home somewhere which they will eventually be able to go back to, or that they have some chance of making a new home for themselves some day. It is difficult to avoid the word 'homeless' altogether, but in Focus Ireland we try to respect clients' feelings about this word and to use 'out-of-home' in preference to 'homeless' when we can. We estimate that there are between 5,000 and 6,000 people homeless in Ireland at any point in time. The vast majority of whom stay in emergency hostels or B&Bs. In Dublin alone there are 2,015 people experiencing homelessness including 463 children homeless with their families. The majority of these children are under age 12. (Counted In, 2005) Research shows us the negative impact on children s schooling, health, ability to maintain friendships and over-all well-being of living in overcrowded and confined space with little or no access to play and recreational facilities. (Halpenny, A.M., Keogh, A.F. and Gilligan, R. (2002) A Place for Children? Children and families living in emergency accommodation, Children s Research Centre, TCD and Homeless Agency, Dublin.) 6

8 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 7 The profile of those experiencing homelessness has changed in recent years. There are now more people experiencing long-term homelessness and while there are fewer people sleeping rough more people are staying for extended periods in emergency accommodation due to insufficient move-on options. Accommodation Options The popular image of people who are homeless is of those sleeping rough on the streets. However this highly visible group of homeless people are only the tip of the iceberg. Homelessness means a lot more than not having a roof over ones head, it is also about the type, quality and security of the accommodation in which people live. There are many people in Ireland today who, while not sleeping on the streets are classified as homeless. They include people who are staying in emergency hostels or B&Bs, squatting, or sleeping on a friends /relative s floor. Emergency Hostels This refers to hostel accommodation, meant for short-term/emergency use, for people experiencing homelessness. Types and standards vary, with some hostels supplying dormitory style rooms while other provide private rooms with the shared use of bathrooms. Private Emergency Accommodation (often B&Bs) The type of private emergency accommodation (PEA) varies. Some provide B&B accommodation where residents have no access to a kitchen; some contain apartments each with its own bathroom and kitchen, while other facilities fall in between the two. (Footnote: Couples and families in B&BS: Potential for AHU Referrals) PEAs are generally used for individuals or families who are not suitable for or cannot get hostel accommodation. It has been widely acknowledged that bed and breakfast accommodation is inappropriate temporary accommodation for homeless households and steps have been made to improve the quality of the emergency accommodation used. However all temporary accommodation is unsatisfactory, especially for families with children and particularly for vulnerable households, no matter how good the physical conditions may be. Maintaining important links with health and social services may be difficult. Education may be disrupted or involve lengthy and expensive journeys. Also, temporary accommodations transitory nature means that establishing meaningful contacts in a local community is not possible. (Brooke, Simon. Housing Problems and Irish Children. Children s Research Centre, 2004) Involuntary Sharing Involuntary sharing means being "put up" by friends or family for short periods of time. This type of accommodation is unstable, transient and dependent on the kindness and willingness of friends and family to involuntarily share their living space. NO PLACE LIKE Sleeping Rough This refers to people sleeping outdoors, somewhere not intended for night-time accommodation or not providing safe protection from the elements. 7

9 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 8 The Causes of Homelessness Homelessness is a complex issue and there is rarely a simple explanation for someone becoming homeless. Homelessness can happen to anyone for a wide variety of reasons. It is vital that we understand the full range of issues that may lead homelessness in order to prevent it and to provide relevant services to those experiencing homelessness. There are many different pathways into homelessness. In the past, explanations tended to concentrate on it as an individual problem due to personal difficulties. Now there is much wider recognition that homelessness is more than the result of individual issues. It involves a complex interrelationship of structural factors and individual (trigger) factors that occur at a point in time. A number of risk factors have also been identified that put people at a higher risk of becoming homeless. Structural Structural factors, relating to how we organise our society and distribute wealth and power are acknowledged as being a key contributing factor to homelessness and must be considered in order to, not only meet the needs of a person out of home, but also to address factors leading to homelessness. These include: Social and affordable housing shortages Poverty Unemployment Leaving a state institution (care, prison or hospital) without appropriate support services Lack of appropriate mental health facilities Lack of appropriate support services for people experiencing homelessness Inappropriate social policies The failure of society to provide suitable infrastructure to support the most vulnerable in society has ultimately contributed to creating pathways into homelessness. Individual Homelessness is often immediately preceded by a crisis in an individual s life. There are a range of events or crisis points that can trigger homelessness. Examples of these include: Relationship difficulties or breakdown Eviction Inappropriate or insecure accommodation Leaving institutional care A deterioration in mental health Financial difficulties Losing a spouse 8 Risk Factors In addition to the above there are known factors that may put an individual at greater risk of homelessness if and when a crisis occurs. Some of these include: Mental health issues Poor physical health Lack of social support network Physical or sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence Offending behaviour and/or experience of prison Family disputes or breakdown Debts, particularly rent and mortgage arrears A background of institutional care Anti-social behaviour School exclusion and lack of qualifications (The Homeless Agency,

10 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 9 The Effects of Homelessness There is no doubt that being homeless can have a significant impact on a person's well-being, affecting people in different ways and on many different levels. The homeless process and experience is different for everyone, so too is the way in which it impacts on their lives. It is important to recognise the multidimensional impact on people and on society more generally. People experiencing homelessness often have to make choices out of very limited options. Everyday things that we all take for granted can become much more difficult for people sleeping rough, living in a hostel, living in private emergency accommodation, transitional accommodation, or having to share with friends. Trying to meet basic needs such as finding somewhere to store belongings, getting a shower or washing clothes can be very difficult and time consuming. Homelessness can pose an exceptional risk to people's physical health, personal safety and psychological well-being. Without a stable living arrangement, primary health care and physical and mental health services are difficult for people to access and therefore people experiencing homelessness are at a far greater risk of psychological distress and physical health problems. As a result, common symptoms of illhealth may go unnoticed or unattended, leaving them extremely vulnerable to further physical and psychological health problems. A substantial body of research demonstrates the negative impact on children's well-being of living in emergency and transitional accommodation. Living conditions and experiences in childhood are critically important in shaping the future for children. A substantial body of research has shown that the negative impact homelessness can have on the lives of children including delayed development, learning difficulties, higher rates of mental health problems - including behavioural issues such as disturbed sleep, dietary and emotional problems. Parents have reported difficulty keeping children quiet in a confined space and have felt that there was increased conflict between their children, and also a sense of loss of dignity and respect. Young people themselves reported negative perceptions of being homeless and living in emergency accommodation, problems sharing confined space with siblings and parents, and a lack of privacy, while professionals noted that children appeared to be lacking in confidence and to have high levels of anxiety. Childhood is such a critical time in terms of young people's emotional development and so it is crucial that we aim to prevent problems persisting after families have been re-housed. Homelessness is the most extreme form of social exclusion and is a strong indicator of social injustice in any society. Individuals become excluded when various factors prevent or limit their ability and opportunity to participate in mainstream society. Effectively tackling homelessness would contribute towards social and economic benefits, including better health and well-being, improved educational achievements and sustainable and cohesive communities. This requires more and better targeted investment and the development of integrated homelessness services and to provide suitable and affordable housing 2. NO PLACE LIKE 9

11 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 10 Glossary of Terms Local Authority Housing These are houses and flats which are built or bought by the local city or county council and rented at low prices to people on a low income. People also have the option of buying the accommodation from the Local Authority over a number of years. Voluntary Housing These are housing units built or bought by a voluntary organisation that is funded in part by government grants. Private Rented Accommodation This can include lodgings, rented flats or houses or shared accommodation with others. The landlord is a private individual or company. Emergency Accommodation These are houses/apartments or simply beds in hostels that are there for short term use only. This can range from one week to about six weeks. Transitional Accommodation This is housing that is usually provided for between six and eight months. The individuals know that they will stay for a set period of time in which they generally take part in a life-skills programme. Transitional accommodation offers people an opportunity to experience independent living before they move on to long-term or private rented accommodation. This service is offered by Focus Ireland. Rent Allowance This is for people whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependents. It consists of a rent supplement to ensure that after paying rent their income does not fall below a minimum level. Key Working This is a short, intensive piece of work that Focus Ireland undertakes with clients. It involves co-ordinating the support required to meet individual needs and wishes. Long Term Housing These are apartments or houses that are provided for as long as the person/persons may need them. A letting agreement is signed and the individuals have security of tenure. Supported Housing Services These services are supportive in nature and are attached as part of a housing service. The support can include key working. These services are offered by Focus Ireland. Direct Access Services People who are out of home can walk in from the street to avail of these services. They may include laundry, storage or restaurant facilities. They may also be known as drop-in service facilities. These services are offered by Focus Ireland. Care Plan This involves the setting of short-to medium-to long-term goal plans for those who are out of home, formulated through key working sessions. Focus Ireland offers this service. 10

12 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 11 Home Sweet Home ENGLISH GEOGRAPHY Aidhm HISTORY SPHE MATHEMATICS SCIENCE To enable the children to understand the importance of shelter as a basic need and to appreciate that a home is more than just a building. GAEILGE

13 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 13 Exploring Houses from Around the World Display each of the photographs (Pictiúirí 1-7) showing different types of houses from around the world. Discuss the similarities and differences between the houses. - What makes them the same/different? - What materials were used to build them? Why? - Which materials are natural/manufactured? - What do you think the weather is like in countries where these types of houses are found? - How does the weather affect how the houses are built? - Imagine the daily family life of a child living in each house? - How might it be the same/different from the children s own daily lives? Encourage the children to locate the regions where these houses may be found on the globe, keeping in mind that some may be found all over the world. Exploring Houses in the Local Region Encourage the children to take notice of the houses they see on their way to and from school each day. Ask them to observe particular details including the following: - Types of houses and frequency of each type, e.g. bungalows, two-storey, semi-detached, cottage, terraced, etc. - Materials from which the houses are made, e.g. wood, stone, brick, etc. - House styles, e.g. modern, Georgian, etc. - What do the houses tell us about the community now and in the past? Divide the children into groups and invite them to draw or paint a picture of their own home. Afterwards, ask each child to describe his/her home to the other children in the group. Construct a class collage of My Home. Using Cárta Oibre 1A, gather the necessary information as a whole class discussion and allow the children to complete the activity individually or in groups. Sensitivity will be required for this task, as some of the children may live in small, inadequate housing. Similarly, select different groups to draw, paint or build a model of particular types of houses in the community or from around the world. Encourage the groups to explore, plan, make and evaluate each of their models carefully and to report back to the class on their evaluations at the end of the activity. Display the models of Homes in Our Community or Homes from Around the World in the school or local library. 13

14 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 14 A House Or a Home? Ask the children to close their eyes and to imagine that they are in the place they call home. Suggest that they consider each of the following aspects: - Objects that make it home - People that make it home - Activities that make it home - Smells that make it home - Sounds that make it home - Your favourite room in your home - Does your home help you to feel that you re part of a community? How? - Does your home give you a sense of belonging and security? How? Invite various children to mime indoor and outdoor activities that they associate with home, which the rest of the class can identify. Bain trial as an gníomhaíocht seo as Gaeilge freisin. Distribute Cárta Oibre 1B to the children and ask them to complete it either individually, in pairs or in larger groups. When the children are ready, allow time for feedback on the activity and to explore their concepts of home. Develop the children s appreciation of home with the help of the following activity: If you had to leave your home and could only bring one bag with you, what would you put in the bag to make you feel at home? [It would be a good idea to show the children a small gear bag as an example to provide maximum impact.] Once you have compiled a list of the objects which the children would put in the bag, invite each child to bring in one object to school. Place all the objects into a feely bag and invite various children to feel and describe one object to the others, who must identify it based on the description only. Bain trial as an gníomhaíocht seo as Gaeilge freisin. As a whole class, categorise and arrange the objects into groups of essentials and those they could most easily do without. Without the non-essential objects, would their new place still feel like home? Tabhair Cárta Oibre 1C do na leanaí. 14

15 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 15 Read the following story to the children: Lisa s Story I remember when I couldn t wait to get home from school to the warmth and safety that waited there for me. I loved to walk in the door to the smell of the dinner my Dad was cooking for us and to sink into my favourite chair to read my book while I waited to eat. After dinner my brother and I always went out to play soccer in the garden before starting our homework. I loved to sit at the kitchen table doing homework while my Dad did the washing or read the newspaper so that he could be near if we needed help. I felt happy, safe, comfortable and carefree then. If I had known how much things would change, I would have appreciated my home more and not been so quick to complain when my brother spent too long in the bathroom, or when my Mam asked me to go to bed early. After Mam lost her job, we couldn t afford to keep our house so we came to stay in a private emergency accommodation for homeless families. We couldn t carry too much around with us so I could only bring some clothes and my favourite teddy bear. We left behind our computer games, our CD player, most of our toys and books and my lovely pink curtains and duvet. There s no garden here for us to play in any more and I have to sit on my bed to do my homework now. There are no chairs to relax in but we do sit on our suitcases when we re chatting at night. I hope we get a new home soon so that I can see my dad everyday again. Explore Lisa s Story with the help of the following questions: - What did Lisa love about her home? Elicit the people, smells, objects, routines, feelings, etc. that she associated with home. - How has her life changed since she lost her home? - What does she miss about her home? - What does home mean to the children? - What feelings do they get when they are at home? Do they feel comfortable/relaxed/safe/secure? - How would they feel if they lived like Lisa and her family? What would they miss about home? Invite the children to write an acrostic poem based on the letters h-o-m-e and to recite their poem for the rest of the class. Allow the children to draft, redraft and decorate their poems so that they may be displayed on the classroom walls. Encourage the children to interview their parents/guardians about what home meant for them when they were growing up. Elicit from them what sorts of questions they might ask, ensuring to include the people, sounds, smells, objects, routines, celebrations, games, etc. that their parents may have associated with home. 15

16 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 16 Aonad 1 Cárta Oibre 1 A Ainm List the types of homes in which the children in your class live. Calculate the fraction of children in your class living in each type of home. Calculate the percentage of children in your class living in each type of home. Construct a pie chart to show your information. Construct a bar chart to show your information. 16

17 Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 17 Aonad 1 Cárta Oibre 1 B Ainm Home is Where the Heart Is Think about the place you call home. Now write a list of: The objects that make it home The people that make it home The activities/celebrations that make it home The smells that make it home The sounds that make it home Where do you most like to be in your home? 17

18 Aonad 1 Ainm 18 Cárta Oibre 1 C Focail Cuardach MO BHAILE Pictiúirí Clann Teilifís Ríomhaire Tolg Cistin Tine Gairdín Leaba Peata Seoladh Bréagáin R T C M N F B L H N P E B R É A G Á Í/I N I I L E A B A D D L C L A N N H R B R H T I N I R I N R S D I F M T A B I C A A Ú Í B G L O T H T L I S L D C S S L A O R Í O M H A I R E E Í T P C L S C H P S Unit 1-final 14/08/ :28 Page 18

19 Aonad No Home To Go To ENGLISH GAEILGE Aidhm MATHEMATICS DRAMA ART SPHE To explore the meaning of homelessness and some of the reasons people become homeless, while developing empathy for those who are out of home.

20 Defining Homelessness Focus Ireland includes three categories in their definition of homeless (O'Sullivan, 1996): Visible Homeless: those sleeping rough and/or those accommodated in emergency shelters or Bed and Breakfasts; Hidden Homeless: those families or individuals involuntarily sharing with family and friends, those in insecure accommodation or those living in housing that is woefully inadequate or sub-standard; and At risk of Homelessness: includes those who currently have housing but could possibly become homeless due to economic difficulties, too high a rent burden, insecure tenure, leaving state care or physical or mental health difficulties etc. [Source: Write the word homeless on the blackboard and invite the children to suggest what the word means. Have they seen anyone who was out-of-home? Do they know anyone who was out-of-home? Divide the class into groups of four. Each group will come up with a definition of homelessness and a spokesperson for the group will later explain their definition to the rest of the class. Distribute Cárta Oibre 2A to each group. Allow plenty of time for the children to complete the work card and to give feedback on their responses. Explain to the children that they must give reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with the statements in Q. 5. According to the Housing Act 1988, all of the people in the case studies on Cárta Oibre 2A are in fact homeless. Having explored the concept of homelessness in greater depth, invite the children to revisit and revise the definition of homelessness they suggested earlier. 21

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