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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
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Number of adults and children in homeless families in Dublin trebles in two years

Meanwhile, Minister Simon Coveney has been highlighting arrangements in place for people who are homeless in the city.

File photo
File photo
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Updated at 7.50pm

THE NUMBER OF families homeless in Dublin has risen sharply in the last two years, new figures show.

The total number of adults and children in homeless families is now three times what it was two years ago – 1,101 in October 2014, compared to 3,486 in October 2016.

The figures were compiled by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive for the city’s councillors.

Mike Allen, director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, said in a statement released to highlight the figures:

“It is terrible to see that during the last year the number of children who are homeless and living in emergency accommodation in Dublin has increased by 57% from 1,343 to 2,110.”

“The Government has to change”

The issue of homelessness was also highlighted on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, which featured a 21-year-old mother who’d just registered herself homeless.

Joy, and her three-year-old daughter, Carly, are now living in a hotel.

She said: “I’m only young, I come from a well-respected family and I never thought I’d see the day when I’m in a hotel room… with a Christmas tree the size of my arm.

I’ve seen people with studio apartments for €1,300… that’s not right, you can’t live in those conditions. The Government has to change, it really does. They have to do something about it.

Massaging the figures

Meanwhile, a homeless charity has criticised Housing Minister Simon Coveney for a Tweet saying that anybody who needed shelter would be accommodated.

“The system has been in freefall for months with in excess of 160 people sleeping rough,” Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn said.

In a statement this evening, Coveney highlighted a number of arrangements in place for people who are homeless in the city.

“The Dublin Region Cold Weather Plan commenced operation at the start of the month and will be subject to ongoing review,” he said.

“This time of year can be very difficult for rough sleepers as the temperatures can dip very quickly.

“The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has a comprehensive plan in place.

“This annual proactive measure is undertaken each year as winter approaches with the emphasis  to have a variety of additional options for people who generally do not / or cannot avail of existing services,” he said.

Currently the DRHE are in the process of making preparations to open additional facilities to accommodate rough sleepers. 210 beds will be provided in Dublin. It is essential that we have sufficient beds to meet any increased demand during cold weather. In addition to this the Civil Defence will provide an additional 20 beds as a response to extreme cold weather.

Responding to the figures highlighted today by Focus Ireland, a spokesperson for DRHE said it was important to highlight that people do move out of homelessness.

“In the first 9 months of this year, 1,236 adult individuals moved to tenancies,” the spokesperson said.

The DRHE also highlighted the phone number to call for people in need of emergency accommodation in Dublin:

For access to emergency accommodation contact FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 from 2pm, this includes an out-of-hours service until 1am (including weekends)

With reporting from Darragh Peter Murphy and Daragh Brophy. This story was updated at 7.50pm after amended figures were released.

Read: ‘Scary and so out of the ordinary’: Students at NUI Maynooth ‘more afraid’ after random attack

Read: New counselling rooms for homeless people open in Dublin today

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Sean Murray

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