Located in Dublin, our Drop-in Centre is in Tara Street, our Accommodation Unit is based in Swords and our Day Centre is on Pearse Street. We offer support with accommodation, information, outreach and tenancy sustainment for pregnant women who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.
Simply being pregnant and unsupported by her partner, family or friends leaves a woman open to being homeless irrespective of whether she is working or not. There are many reasons why a woman is unsupported by her family or partner:
- Living in a house-share and can’t have a baby in the house-share arrangement;
- Family/cultural reasons i.e. must leave home due to family cultural beliefs;
- Already homeless and become pregnant;
- Partner does not want a baby;
- Migrant issues – pregnancy may lead to ill health during pregnancy resulting in job loss. Often with no entitlement to welfare payments, women cannot pay rent and cannot return to their country of origin due to family/travel restrictions.
Anew offers practical individual support to pregnant women with specific housing and welfare issues. We have an accommodation unit based in Swords to house four pregnant women who are homeless. We provide a path-way out of homelessness for the woman and her baby. At the end of 2017, our accommodation service was upgraded to provide 24-hour support for residents of our accommodation unit.
We offer specific programmes for pregnant women and new mothers who have few other supports to prepare them for pregnancy and the birth of their baby. This service is also provided on an outreach basis for clients not in our accommodation unit.
Addressing Homelessness amongst Pregnant Women
Homelessness is at an all-time high in Ireland and particularly around Dublin. As a result, the numbers of women who are pregnant and homeless is also at an all-time high.
There is no specific data collection method to count the numbers of women who are pregnant and homeless – women are either counted as a single woman with no dependents (with no acknowledgement that in a few short months there will be a baby) or a woman with dependent children .
We need as a matter of urgency to have a system to quantify the numbers of women who are pregnant and experiencing homelessness. Without this we cannot plan for solutions; we will have no idea how many housing units will be required to accommodate these new family units, how many additional emergency family hub units will be required, or of the additional pressure on maternity hospitals.
The lack of data makes the challenges to plan for the new arrival and the healthcare needs of the new mother and infant very difficult
Anew is working in partnership with maternity hospitals and other organisations in relation to this issue. One of the clearest solutions is to implement a coordination role to case manage from the point of pregnancy through to birth and early infancy. Anew are working in this area as a priority going forward.
“I am so happy that Anew has won an award for Women’s Support Group of the Year, because they’re tackling an issue that so many overlook. Anew deserve recognition for the amazing work they do on a day-to-day basis, lifting spirits and giving hope to new mothers like me facing difficult times.”
Holly, current resident and new mum