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Homelessness

Simon Community says 88 per cent rise in Dublin rough sleepers ‘frightening’

85 people were found to be bedding down in the street in the inner city area on one night earlier this month.

THE SIMON COMMUNITY says it recorded an 88 per cent increase in the number of people bedding down in Dublin’s inner city area between July and September this year, compared the the same period in 2012.

There was also a 66 per cent increase in numbers sleeping rough in the area between Jervis Street, Amien Street and Harcourt Street in the first six months of 2013, compared to last year.

Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness has described the increase as “frightening”, and said the organisation was “really concerned at these trends across this narrow catchment area”. The early morning street counts carried out by the charity take place twice a week at 6am.

85 people were found to be sleeping rough in the inner city on one night earlier this month — the highest figure since the charity began keeping a record of the numbers.

The homeless organisation warned that the Government’s plan to end long term homelessness by 2016 was “in serious jeopardy” as it launched its annual review this morning.

McGuinness said that services in the area were being stretched more than ever at a time when demand was at crisis level.

“The homeless sector has already absorbed massive reductions and we are expecting further cuts,” McGuinness said.

“This will mean that since 2008, we have experienced severe decreases, making it extremely challenging to tackle the alarming rise in demand for housing and support services for the most vulnerable in our society.”

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