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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 21 October, 2019
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Charity warns more homeless people could die as winter sets in

Dublin Simon says the number of rough sleepers is the highest it has ever been.

12/7/2011 Children Begging Poverty File photo Source: Sam Boal

A POST-MORTEM IS set to take place on the body of a homeless man who was found dead in Dublin city yesterday morning.

The body was discovered at Dawson Lane, not far from where another homeless man, Jonathan Corrie, was found dead last year.

The Simon Community has described the man’s death yesterday as “sad and tragic” and extended its sympathies to the man’s friends and family.

In a statement to the TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the charity said:

“Despite constant warnings from organisations across the sector, we are now faced with a situation that we all feared would happen.

Just 300 meters from the Dáil, and only nine months on from the sad death of Jonathan Corrie, another person has lost their life on our streets.

“Despite the provision of extra beds over Christmas last year, the numbers who are rough sleeping have substantially grown. These extra beds are continuing to operate at full capacity and our weekly early morning street counts are recording the highest numbers we’ve ever seen.”

Just this week we counted 124 people bedding down in the city. This doesn’t include the 50-60 people accessing the Night Café each night. The scale of the problem is unprecedented and the situation is worse than December 2014, where rough sleeping figures were the highest since counts began.

“It must be stressed that these are absolute minimum figures, as this does not include the ‘hidden homeless who are couch surfing, staying in squats, hospitals or temporary B & Bs.”

The spokesperson noted that “the numbers speak for themselves and clearly interventions to date have not been effective”, adding: “As we move into the colder winter months we are extremely concerned for people who are forced to sleep on our city pavements, exposed and vulnerable.”

Last night, Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, confirmed the deceased had been sleeping rough and was known to charity workers since December.

“The young man had been engaging sporadically with the Focus Ireland Peter McVerry Trust Housing First Street Intake Team since December 2014 and we understand had accessed homeless services in Dublin in recent days,” Doyle said.

Originally published: 11.20

Background: Homeless man found dead off Dublin’s Dawson Street

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Órla Ryan

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