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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020
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"You wonder - why are you on the street?": Pat Kenny spent a night examining the homelessness crisis

“It’s an extraordinary experience seeing the city like this.”

pat2 Source: Newstalk

“IT’S AN EXTRAORDINARY experience seeing the city like this…

“A few party stragglers going by, gardaí patrolling the empty streets – and knowing there are human beings huddled in doorways while the rest of us will go home and sleep in comfort.”

Pat Kenny has been giving his take on the homelessness crisis in Dublin, in a special report to air on his Newstalk show later today.

Source: Newstalk/YouTube

The presenter spent a night walking the streets of the capital – speaking to people sleeping rough, as well as frontline workers and volunteers.

“The surprise you find is you’re talking to people and you wonder – why are you on the street?” Kenny said, in a video produced by the station.

“I mean you’ve clearly got a lively intelligence, you’ve clearly got an appetite for life and a different turn of the cards would have delivered a different life experience to you.

“So how do you turn back the clock or how do you make a change?”

Source: Newstalk/YouTube

In an article published on the Newstalk website and in the Sunday Independent, Kenny noted with surprise how many of those sleeping on the streets or in doorways were well dressed, and not battling drug or alcohol problems.

“If it hadn’t been for the cardboard and the sleeping bags lying nearby, there was no indication that this doorway, or that awning was home for the night,” the presenter wrote.

The special broadcast comes a week ahead of the first anniversary of the death of Jonathan Corrie, who passed away last December on Molesworth Street – metres from the gates of Leinster House.

His death sparked a renewed focus on the issue, with environment minister Alan Kelly announcing extra emergency beds for those who needed them in the following days. More places were announced by Dublin City Council at the start of the month, with 100 beds being opened at a new centre in Dublin 8 last week.

However, recent figures showed there were now 2,500 single adults homeless across the State, along with 1,571 children, and 980 parents.

The Pat Kenny Show is on Newstalk 106-108fm weekdays from 10am-12.30pm.

Read: In his own words: Jonathan Corrie on homelessness – and hoping for a chance

Read: Enda: Getting all the rough sleepers off the streets would be very difficult

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