There are only a small number of beds servicing the city of Dublin that provides specialist care for homeless pregnant women. There are no statistics available from the Homeless Executive as to how many pregnant women are currently on the street. The reason for this is due to the invisible nature of the issue.
Anew currently have just four beds to sustain mothers and babies who are homeless. Currently, we have had over 35 referrals to our service this year with many of these women living in hostels and hotels while they await word on availability from our service. For many of these women, it is too late by the time a bed becomes available.
Anew works with women, their partners and families providing the following services:
Crisis pregnancy is still a significant public health issue in Ireland with over one third of women who have experienced pregnancy having had a crisis pregnancy. Crisis Pregnancy is defined in Irish legislation as “a pregnancy which is neither planned nor desired by the woman concerned and which represents a personal crisis for her”.
In cases of crisis pregnancy Anew addresses the needs of these women and their family by offering free counselling support and information at all times during and after the pregnancy.
Following a crisis pregnancy, women, their partners and family often feel unable to cope with impending parenthood. They need help and encouragement with regards to all aspects of parenting and Anew’s parenting classes address this need.
In 2014 over 3,500 women from the Republic of Ireland travelled to Britain for abortions, according to official figures from the British Department of Health.Negative psychological effects of abortion can be significant in a woman’s life and indeed in that of her partner and family. Given the importance of this matter for women and the significant public health implications resulting from it, it is an important issue upon which to focus attention from a health policy point of view. Anew addresses the needs of these women and their family by providing free post abortion counselling support for women, their partners and family.
There is currently a housing crisis in Ireland and there is a clear need for accommodation for pregnant women and their babies who are homeless. Anew caters for these service users through its Homeless Service in Dublin. Anew’s trained staff also offers support and life skills classes to the service users in the Homeless Service.
All Anew services are free and confidential.