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Minister Hildegarde Naughton announces allocation of funding for projects for Traveller women facing homelessness

Minister Hildegarde Naughton announces allocation of funding for projects for Traveller women facing homelessness

The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton, has today announced details of the community healthcare organisations (CHOs) selected to develop a model of healthcare services for Traveller women who are experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness. This follows the announcement of the €500,000 fund made by Minister Naughton in March this year.

This programme is a collaboration between the Department of Health (DoH), the Health Service Executive, and the Genio Trust.

The successful projects are in:

  • CHO 1: Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan/Monaghan
  • CHO 2: Galway, Roscommon, Mayo
  • CHO 9: Dublin North City and County

Minister Naughton said:

"I'm delighted to announce details of the initiatives that will provide a culturally-sensitive approach to improving healthcare services for Traveller women.

"We know that Traveller women face a higher risk of homelessness than the overall population, and this can negatively impact on their health.

"The funding being allocated today allows the health service to address this issue, providing a range of tailored, culturally-appropriate interventions to support Traveller women facing homelessness.

"It builds on the commitments promised in the new Traveller Health Action Plan and will form part of the development of a national model to support Traveller women."

The projects were chosen by a Grants Committee which had representation from the Department of Health, HSE National Office for Social Inclusion, Genio and the Travelling community. Lessons from the implementation of the three projects will inform how best to supports the needs of Traveller women at risk of homelessness nationally.

Grainne Smith, Genio Programme Manager said:

"It is evident from the standard of applications, that meaningful consultations took place between the HSE, Traveller women affected by homelessness and Traveller organisations. This collaboration has the potential to develop a national model to support Traveller women at risk of homelessness. We welcome the collaborative approach from Travellers, the DoH and the HSE and look forward to working together over the next 18 months."


Genio is a European organisation based in Ireland working with philanthropy and government at national and EU levels. We have over 13 years’ demonstrable competence, capacities, and achievements in supporting social innovation at National and EU levels. Our mission is to bring about lasting improvements in the lives of people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable through the reform of social services in a person-centred and cost-effective direction. Our skills encompass programme management, grant management, action research, capacity building for scaling and systems change as well as communication, financial and administration expertise which supports the work.

Successful projects

CHO 1: Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan/Monaghan

This region will employ a full-time Homeless Development Worker to develop a model of delivering a culturally appropriate service. The project will collaborate with a variety of services, to ensure inclusion of Traveller women in the planning of, and access to health services for Traveller women affected by homelessness.

CHO 2: Galway, Roscommon, Mayo

This region will employ two members of the Traveller community as project workers to establish a homeless support service for Traveller women to work alongside the primary healthcare projects for Travellers in Tuam and Galway city. This will include establishing a forum to facilitate partnerships between agencies, establish the health and accommodation needs of Traveller women and provide support and advocacy services to these specific needs.

CHO 9: Dublin North City and County

This region will establish a Case Management Team which will provide a focused and cohesive response to high-risk Traveller women currently engaged in homeless services. This work will run across the four county councils of the Dublin area to mirror the existing Dublin Region Homeless Executive structures and services. In addition, CHO 9 aims to employ Traveller-specific project workers to engage with current primary healthcare workers to identify women at risk of homelessness and engage in a health needs assessment to improve their current situation using a holistic approach to their health.