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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

30 people slept on the streets of Dublin last night as temperatures fell to -5

Over 100 people were in a centre in Dublin.


THIRTY PEOPLE ACROSS Dublin were supported by homeless services but refused beds last night, meaning they slept rough.

Temperatures dipped to below freezing last night and over 100 homeless people were accommodated in an emergency shelter in a south Dublin sports hall.

A statement from the Peter McVerry Trust said:

“Last night Peter McVerry Trust had 106 beds allocated at Extreme Cold Weather Service in a sports centre in Dublin’s South Inner City.

“This is a an increase on 81 on the previous night (Tuesday) which itself was up from 45 on Monday, the first night the shelter was used.

“The Housing First Street Intake Team managed to encourage a number of people sleeping rough to come in off the streets. However, 16 people in the city centre and 14 in the Dublin region, were engaged and supported but declined to come into emergency shelter. They will be re-engaged today.

“In Kildare, one additional person was accommodated by Peter McVerry Trust after they called the out of hours emergency freephone number. This brings to 14 the total number of emergency placements provided by Peter McVerry Trust in the county in the past 48 hours.”

Francis Doherty from Peter McVerry Trust says that some of those who refused beds may have had negative experiences in hostels or there may have mental health issues.

He says that the trust is continuing to engage with and support these people as the weather is set to further deteriorate.

“We’re ensuring they have enough supplies like extreme weather sleeping bags and sleeping mats. We will keep engaging with them.”

On Tuesday, Dublin City Council’s homeless executive had 220 reports through its rough sleeper alert system, which it is asking members of the public to use if they have a concern about a homeless person.

The Inner City Helping Homeless (ICCH) voluntary organisation will have outreach teams working again tonight and they can be alerted to anyone sleeping rough by calling 01 8881804 or 085 8389281.

The group says it attended to 67 call outs from members of the public during the day and 56 after 11pm.

ICHH CEO Anthony Flynn said:

“Our outreach volunteers were on the go all day yesterday responding to reports from the general public of people sleeping rough around the city and surrounding areas. This further highlights the lack of trust in the state provided services when people would rather take their chances on the streets than enter state emergency accommodation.

“We still have grave concerns for anybody sleeping rough around the city with news of a rough sleeper death in Scotland highlighting the urgency in getting as many people off the streets as possible. Today ICHH will again be running an extended outreach service for the day however from this afternoon the management team will be assessing the situation hour by hour as we have concerns for the safety of our volunteers who are on the streets out of empathy and compassion trying to help those most vulnerable.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday called the number of people sleeping rough “distressing”.

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