OVERNIGHT IN DUBLIN a number of homeless ‘shelter pods’ popped up around the city.
They were constructed by a group which today launched a campaign called #GimmeShelterIreland.
On its website, the group said four shelter boxes were placed on the streets in the early hours of this morning, outside the Central Bank on Dame Street, in front of Bus Áras, on O’Connell Street and one on Molesworth Street, near the doorway where Jonathan Corrie died.
“We built these pods to provide some semblance of security for a fraction of the people sleeping rough in Dublin. We would have built more, but four is all we could afford.”
We know these pods are not a sustainable solution to the homelessness crisis – and anyway, sleeping in a cold plywood box is only marginally better than sleeping on the street. We built them because we were saddened and ashamed of the State’s efforts, or lack thereof, to tackle homelessness.
“Our hope is that other people sharing our frustration will press all candidates in the upcoming General Election to commit to robust and sustainable action to end homelessness and, in doing so, advance the rights and dignity of all people in Ireland,” it said.
The website says the campaign is “ownerless” and was started by “a group of friends and concerned citizens”.
A video on the site features a homeless man on the streets of Dublin.
“It’s rough, cold, it doesn’t have to be done,” he says. “It can be scary, it can be very scary not knowing who’s going to go past and are you going to get a kick in the head when you’re asleep? Are you going to get robbed? In this day and age, you don’t want to have to be sleeping in doorways, sleeping in parks and ditches.”
The group is calling on people to sign its petition calling for the right to adequate housing to be enshrined in the Constitution, for them to question local election candidates on the issue of homelessness and to organise fundraisers to support local services.