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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Fran Veale
on the streets

"Alarming": 358% increase in rough sleeping over two years in Cork

Cork Simon says immediate action is needed to deal with the issue.

AN EMERGENCY SHELTER in Cork temporarily increased the amount of beds to cope with demand from rough sleepers – and the change ended up being permanent.

Cork Simon is calling for immediate action by the government to deal with homelessness in Ireland. Dermot Kavanagh of Cork Simon said that there had been an “alarming rise” in rough sleeping in Cork.

In its annual report, due out tomorrow, Cork Simon says that towards the end of 2012, due to a significant increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Cork, it increased the number of beds in the emergency shelter by 10%.

It had to maintain this extra capacity throughout 2013 as the number of people sleeping rough continue to rise.

This meant its emergency shelter was over-occupied for all of last year.

The number of people sleeping rough in Cork continued to increase. By the end of 2011, 174 different people had slept rough in Cork, which was an increase of 8% compared to 2012 and an increase of 358% compared to 2011.

The service added five new high-support beds for people with multiple needs who need round-the-clock care, as well as three beds to its emergency shelter.

On the streets

From January to October 2014, there were 256 people sleeping rough in Cork for at least one night. This is up from 158 people during the same period in 2013, a 62% increase.

  • During October 2014 Cork Simon met met 84 people sleeping rough for at least one night – an increase of 14% compared to August 2014 (74 people), up 24% compared to August 2014 (68 people), and up 58% compared to July 2014 (53 people).
  • October 2013 saw Cork Simon meeting 21 people sleeping rough for at least one night.
  • In October 2014 they met 19 women sleeping rough for at least one night, compared to 10 women in September 2014 and six women in August 2014.
  • An average of 19 people per night were sleeping rough during October 2014 compared to an average of seven people per night in October 2013.

The number of people visiting its soup run increased in 2013 by 29% compared to the previous year, while its housing support team saw an increase over a year of 30% in the number of people it supported in 2013.

Its outreach team supported one third more people last year compared to the previous 12 months.

Minister Joan Bruton will launch the report in Cork tomorrow.

Read: Homeless and hungry: “I’m a normal person – I just have problems right now”>

Read: These experts say giving someone a home isn’t a ‘solution’ to homelessness>

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