A Report on Peer Support Specialists: Identification and Stakeholder Engagement within Housing First
Within Housing First (HF), Peer Support Specialists (PSS) are employees whose job descriptions recognise their lived personal experiences as beneficial in understanding and motivating clients. As a HF provider in Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust undertook a comprehensive investigation into service users’ and existing staff’s experiences with PSS.
This report aimed to provide insight into PSS programme delivery and outcomes within HF in regions managed by PMVT in Ireland. All HF participants agreed that their PSS helps them establish and achieve goals. The study highlights that peer-led ongoing support programmes could play a crucial role in transforming the homeless sector and ensuring the highest quality of person-centred care. These findings have important implications for the design and implementation of Housing First Peer Support Specialists toolkits, as well as for policymakers seeking to address homelessness and housing exclusion in Europe and beyond.
Peter McVerry Trust and DCU: Educational Gaps and Future Solutions
A major new research report, by DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre and Peter McVerry Trust, on young homeless men’s experiences of the education system has found a widespread need for reforms and additional supports for vulnerable young people in the education system. The report, Educational Gaps and Future Solutions, sets out seven key recommendations to improve young people’s educational experiences and reduce the risks of homelessness in the future.
This participating demographic of young men aged 18-35 constitutes the single largest cohort of homelessness in Ireland, in addition to being the main group accessing Peter McVerry Trust’s homeless services in Dublin.
Rural Homelessness Report
In September 2019 we published a report examining the factors impacting on rural homelessness in Ireland. The report sets out five key actions to help tackle rural homelessness as the charity reports that the number of homeless adults in rural counties rose to over 1,000 for the first time in May 2019.