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Homeless pregnant woman with young son 'left without emergency accommodation'

“They tried to tell me to get someone to watch my son. I have no family who would do that.”
May 1st 2015, 12:33 PM 15,499 56

A HOMELESS PREGNANT woman and her one-year-old son almost faced a night sleeping rough in Ballymun, north Dublin, yesterday, having been refused emergency accommodation.

The woman, who is six-months pregnant,  told TheJournal.ie that she had contacted several homeless services, but none were able to offer her accommodation for the night.

A family willing to put her up for the night was found after locals contacted gardaí and local representatives.

“I’m homeless, and this is a homeless shelter, and they said there’s nothing they can do,” she said, adding that she had arrived in Dublin yesterday.

They tried to tell me to get someone to watch my son. I have no family who would do that.

“I was ringing them last night asking if they could find somewhere, but they just told me no. They offered me a sleeping bag, but what use is that for me and a one year old?”

Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly, who assisted the woman, said she fears the same situation will happen again tonight.

“She has been ringing [homeless services] constantly for the past few days,” Reilly said, “She has tried everywhere..

This has become a common situation, the councillor added, saying that “every councillor in the city” has seen cases like this.

“I had a situation, probably about a month ago, where a mother and her three children were unable to find accommodation. She ended up sleeping in a car for three nights and a family member took in the children.”

It’s incredible to think that there’s a housing waiting list that is bursting, and now you have a waiting list for homeless accommodation. What sort of country are we living in?

Figures published yesterday by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive revealed the biggest drop in the number of people sleeping rough since records began in 2007.

A total of 105 people were found sleeping rough on the night of the count, although this has been disputed this morning.

“Anyone who has said they are delighted with these figures today or even that they are a step in the right direction has their head in the clouds,” Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless said.

The clear decrease in figures is due to the night café in Merchants Quay, we have shifted people into a dorm style environment sleeping on ground mats rather the streets.

“We are not solving the problem by any measure instead we are moving it around to plaster over the cracks.”

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has been contacted for comment.

Read: Dublin homeless centre closes after attacks on staff >

More: The number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has just had the biggest decrease ever >

Listen: A family of six including one-month-old baby slept in a car last night >

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Nicky Ryan

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