If you may become homeless in it is helpful to start making plans. The goal should be either to avoid going to an emergency shelter, or, if that can’t be avoided, to make your stay there as short as possible. Depending on how much time you have before you might become homeless, try one or all of the following:
Apply for local authority/social housing
Local authorities (or housing authorities) are the main providers of social housing for people who cannot afford to buy their own homes. Local authority housing is allocated according to eligibility and need. Rents are based on the household’s ability to pay. You can find out how to apply here : https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/local_authority_and_social_housing/applying_for_local_authority_housing.html
Apply for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. You must be on the local authority’s housing list for HAP – which means that you qualify for social housing support.
Under the HAP scheme you can take up full-time employment and keep your housing support. The scheme is administered by the local authorities, who pay landlords directly. The rent being charged for the accommodation must be within the limits set down for the household type in that local authority’s area – see ‘Rent limits’ below. Tenants pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on their income and ability to pay. You can find out how to apply here: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/housing_assistance_payment.html
Make sure your ID is current and available.
If your driver’s license or passport has expired reapply or get a public services card. Many hotels, shelters and employers have strict ID requirements, and it will make things easier if you have these things ready or in process.
Get somewhere for delivery and mail if that is possible.
AN POST IS to offer people who are homeless an address so they can avail of services such as making medical appointments or apply for jobs, it has announced but it is not currently available. Parcel Motel offers a ‘virtual address’.
Make an Emergency Pack.
If you have more than two bags for yourself, or one for each child, try to find someone you know who can and will hold your things for you. Almost every shelter has limits on the amount of baggage people can carry with them because they don’t have enough space.
Pack the things you can take with you. Try to arrange a ride or some sort of transportation for the day you’ll have to leave. If there is anyone who can lend you some money, now would be the time to borrow it. Try to keep at least €20-€50 with you in a safe place just for emergencies. Make sure your ID is in a safe and accessible place — you will want to take it with you. Some shelters charge money, or have strict ID requirements. There are Storage Solutions such as Elephant storage but these can be expensive.
These recommendations are just suggestions so that you will have the most resources at your disposal when you need it.