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Nearly 60% of Dublin's rough sleepers were using tents in April

There were 5,806 individuals in emergency accommodation in Dublin last month.

Tents near government offices on Kildare Street in Dublin
Tents near government offices on Kildare Street in Dublin
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

NEARLY 60% OF PEOPLE sleeping rough in Dublin in late April were using a tent, a new count found.

Figures recorded by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that 125 people were sleeping rough in Dublin in the week of 19 to 25 April.

The quarterly count for spring saw a 10% decrease in the number of rough sleepers compared to 139 people counted in November 2020.

For the first time, the DHRE recorded the number of people using tents because of “the increaased visibility of tent usage amongst people who are sleeping rough”.

59% were using tents.

The majority of rough sleepers were Irish, male and aged between 26 to 45, while 75% were linked with one of four Dublin local authorities.

16 people were found to be sleeping rough in both the winter 2020 and spring 2021 counts.

“A number of these are targeted for a Housing First response, that will provide them with permanent housing and visiting supports to help them sustain their home,” the report said.

In April, there were 5,806 individuals in emergency accommodation in Dublin, including 1,719 children.

699 families were housed in emergency accommodation in the capital last monthm an increase from 681 in March.

The number of families has declined since the same month last year, when 974 were recorded as living in emergency accommodation.

88 families left emergency accommodation into new tenancies last month, with 57 moving to HAP and 31 to social housing.

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“Since the beginning of 2020, national data has been showing a significant and welcome reduction in the number of households (in particular families) residing in emergency accommodation throughout the country,” the report outlines

“This trend has changed with the lifting of Covid restrictions and there has been a small increase of 18 families since March 2021.”

As of 24 May, 289 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in total within Dublin homeless services.

Clinical lead for Covid-19 and homelesness in Dublin city Dr Austin O’Carroll previously told The Journal that sleeping in tents, particularly sharing them with others, carries a health risk.

“Rough sleepers die younger due to the effects of living in such poor circumstances as well as the risks of overdose, assault and untreated health conditions. I also believe there is risk of the spread of Covid as those sharing tents live in very crowded circumstances,” Dr O’Carroll said.

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