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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Homeless families in hotels and B&Bs 'will not be adversely affected' during papal visit

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks over the provision of accommodation for homeless people during the papal visit.

File photo
File photo
Image: Leon Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE DUBLIN REGIONAL Homeless Executive (DRHE) has said existing hotel and B&B bookings for families in emergency accommodation “will not be adversely affected” during the papal visit this weekend.

The DRHE said it monitors the demand for emergency accommodation and has tried and tested contingency plans that provide additional bed capacity during exceptional and extreme events.

It said that it has sourced additional temporary units/rooms to cater for families presenting as homeless and in need of temporary emergency placement.

Pope Francis is travelling to Ireland on Saturday for two days to take part in the World Meeting of Families, in which he will say Mass at Dublin’s Phoenix Park and in Knock.

The DRHE has said that it has been aware for some time that securing emergency accommodation during the papal visit “could be challenging” and that additional planning and resources would be required

It has coordinated and implemented contingency plans for the weekend.

It said it has been working closely with private accommodation providers and has ensured that existing hotel and B&B family accommodation bookings “will not be adversely affected during the papal visit”.

“We have sourced a large number of additional temporary units/rooms to cater for families presenting as homeless and in need of temporary emergency placement. These include several units suitable for large families,” a statement from DRHE said.

“These are temporary emergency placements that can be accessed through the respective local authority.”

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks over the possibility of homeless people being moved out of emergency accommodation during the visit of Pope Francis.

New presentations

The DRHE said it will endeavour to accommodate any families newly present during the papal visit within the Dublin Region.

However, it added that a “certain number of spaces” are located outside the Dublin Region and these will be utilised “only when absolutely necessary”.

“The DRHE is aware of the difficult circumstances that families experiencing homelessness have to face and we will continue to monitor the demand for emergency accommodation during this time,” it said.

If an individual or family is presenting as homeless for the first time in Dublin, their respective local authority will carry out an assessment of their situation.

The DRHE has increased staffing of the freephone 1800 707 707 for this weekend, which will operate on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2am.

It added that its Housing First Outreach Teams (operated by Focus and Peter McVerry Trust) will be out on the streets of Dublin over the weekend, engaging with people at risk of rough sleeping and working with them to access support and shelter.

Members of the public can make Dublin’s Housing First Service aware of a person who may be sleeping rough in the Dublin region via this link.

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