DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL (DCC) has said that a number of homeless children who have been accommodated in adult homeless hostels recently have been so ‘to avoid the risk of the family sleeping rough’.
The Irish Times this morning reported that homeless children are sleeping on blow-up beds in adult hostels in the Dublin area.
According to DCC, eight separate families have been accommodated in this manner this month, on a “one night only placement”, in order to prevent them having to sleep on the streets.
These families were accommodated in “secure and defined areas that are separate from other adult service users” the council said in a statement.
“Local authorities… in the response to homelessness are managing what is a critical and unprecedented situation in relation to the demand for their homeless services on a daily and nightly basis,” the statement said.
The procedure which results in the scenario of children sleeping in adult hostels involves confirmation that all other accommodation options have been exhausted, and that the measure be an ‘emergency, one-night-only provision’.
The news is a stark indicator of the crisis affecting homeless services across the country, and particularly in Dublin, at present.
In the final week of April DCC accommodated a staggering 888 families with 1,786 child dependents in homeless services.
218 of those families made use of homeless accommodation, with the remaining 670 staying in commercial hotels.
The latest homeless figures from the (now defunct) Department of the Environment show that 5,963 people were living in emergency accommodation in Ireland at the end of March, a 3% increase on the previous month.
The number of homeless families in the state has more than doubled in the last year.