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File image of an empty Anne Street in Dublin city center. Alamy Stock Photo
Cold Snap

Dublin’s Simon Community launches ‘urgent’ appeal for donations amid cold snap

A Status Yellow warning for low temperatures is in place for much of the country.

DUBLIN’S SIMON COMMUNITY has made an appeal for “urgent” donations as a Status Yellow warning for low temperatures and ice kicks in for most counties.

Met Éireann has forecast that it could fall below -3 degrees in many areas tonight and will be as low as -5 in some areas.

It’s another cold night in store tomorrow, with lowest temperatures of -4 degrees amid widespread sharp frost and icy patches.

Due to the high risk of hypothermia, Dublin Simon’s Outreach team is urging members of the public to report anyone they see sleeping rough through the Dublin Rough Sleeper Alerts App. 

The app is free to download and allows members of the public to alert the Dublin Region Homeless Executive to the locations of people sleeping rough so outreach teams can make contact.

Dublin Simon added that is concerned that the “chaotic events in Dublin city centre last week” may have prompted some people who sleep rough to move from their usual central locations into more out of the way places, making it more challenging for outreach teams to provide essential care.

The public has also been asked to support Dublin Simon Community’s annual Christmas Appeal.

This year’s appeal has the slogan ‘Christmas isn’t Christmas When You’re Homeless’, highlighting the range of people affected by homelessness and “how their attention will be focused on simply surviving during the festive period”.

Dublin Simon’s CEO Catherine Kenny said: “At a time when young people should be full of hope about their future prospects, it is devastating to see our youngest people struggling with homelessness, and in some cases taking to the streets, as a result of things like economic challenges, family conflict, ageing out of the care system, or addiction.

“As Dublin continues to grapple with this escalating crisis, Dublin Simon urges increased awareness, empathy, and support from the public and policymakers this Christmas to create sustainable solutions for young people experiencing homelessness.

“Everyone deserves not only to survive, but to thrive.”

She added that the Dublin Simon outreach and emergency accommodation teams are “committed to working with the most vulnerable people during this cold winter weather”.

Meanwhile, Uisce Éireann has reminded people to “winterproof” their homes to avoid issues with water amid the cold spell.

Uisce Éireann is launching a social media campaign and a dedicated webpage at www.water.ie/winterproofing where customers can find advice on preventing leaks, conserving water, and make the most of their heating systems during the colder months.

Advice includes insulating water tanks and pipes, because exposed pipes and tanks are particularly vulnerable to freezing while insulating them can help prevent heat loss and keep pipes from freezing.

People are also advised to service their boilers to help reduce energy bills.

It also recommends fixing dripping taps and also paying attention to external dripping taps in winter as water from them can freeze on the ground and can cause people to slip and injure themselves.

Further advice includes checking your inside stop valve, which is the main isolation valve for the water supply, as well as minimising draughts as cold air from the outside can cause pipes to freeze inside.

Uisce Éireann has also encouraged the public “to take responsibility for their water usage and contribute to keeping demand at sustainable levels”.

Business owners have also been reminded of the risk of frozen pipes and possible bursts if a building is left unoccupied and unheated during a spell of very cold weather.

If a commercial premises is unoccupied while there is a spell of cold weather, there is an increased risk of frozen pipes and consequent damage and business owners should regularly inspect properties for leaks during a period of closures.

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