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Number of homeless people requiring emergency beds in Cork increases for third year running

One in five of those homeless are women.

THE NUMBER OF people relying on the Simon Community’s emergency bed service is continuing to increase as the charity’s resources continue to be stretched, a new report has said.

The Simon’s annual Cork report for 2016 found that, on average, 53 people were availing of emergency beds – that’s up from 50 in 2015 and 47 in 2014.

Not only is the number of people availing of the service increasing, the frequency with which they need the beds is also rising.

The report found that people stayed in the emergency shelter for an average of 54 nights per person compared to 50 nights per person in 2015 and compared to 44 nights per person in 2014.

Other notable stats from the report include:

  • 22% of people staying in Cork Simon’s emergency shelter were women – the highest percentage yet
  • Cork Simon’s day service supported 737 people compared to 666 people in 2015 and compared to 633 people in 2014.
  • 28 people were newly housed with the help of Cork Simon’s Housing Support Team.
  • Cork Simon developed a plan to increase its housing stock by 100 units by 2019.

The charity’s director in Cork, Dermot Kavanagh, said the continuing housing and homeless crisis meant that all of the community’s services were yet again operating at or above capacity.

He said, We provided an emergency bed to record numbers of people each night last year.  Our day service supported more people than ever before.

The longer-term impact of the housing and homeless crisis is beginning to show with people remaining stuck in emergency accommodation for much longer periods of time because they simply have nowhere else to go.  The number of people long-term homeless increased for the third successive year.

Kavanagh added that that with the housing and homeless crisis continuing to drive the need for additional emergency beds this year, the charity said it is responding with a Winter Night Shelter to operate from now until the end of March.

Read: ‘Rogue landlords’ should face tougher sanctions and even jail, Dáil hears >

Read: Garda fear ‘loss of life’ as gangland feud ‘erupts’ on south side of Limerick, court told >

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