Homelessness is a major societal issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Yet, the scope of the problem may not be accurately reflected in official statistics since a small percentage of people are experiencing what is known as hidden homelessness. Individuals and families that do not have permanent residence or are living in inadequate, overcrowded, or unsafe conditions are deemed homeless yet do not appear in official homeless statistics. Those who are living with friends or relatives, sleeping in cars, or squatting in abandoned buildings may fall into this category too.
According to the Simon Communities of Ireland, there may be as many as 290,000 “hidden homeless” people in Ireland. A poll by the Simon Community showed that one in four people have experienced or know someone who has encountered hidden homelessness. One in 100 people say that they and their family have experienced this.