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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018
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Dublin homeless executive received over 200 reports about rough sleepers overnight

The Taoiseach said only a small number of people refused the offer of accommodation.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE DUBLIN HOMELESS executive has said it had an “incredible response” from the public on its rough sleeper reporting system overnight.

Members of the public had been asked to use the system, which can be found here, to alert the council’s service to homeless people who were sleeping on the streets during the snow storm.

“We had over 220 overnight, but some of them are duplicates and a few for outside the Dublin region,” a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie, adding that the executive is “extremely grateful” for the reports.

“This has enabled the Housing First outreach teams to locate and engage with people sleeping rough and work with them to access shelter and more importantly the teams have been able to engage with people who would not normally come into services,” they said.

“We are asking the public to continue to use this invaluable link to help us get people into shelter during this extreme weather. Since we have implemented our contingency plans anyone that looked for emergency shelter has been accommodated.”

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy also spoke with RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy about the “huge response” the executive had overnight.

“Right now our focus this week is on making sure we can get people in and get them into safe warm accommodation,” he said.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said fewer than a dozen people refused the offer of accomodation.

The Peter McVerry Trust said it accommodated 81 people at a south inner city sports centre last night. Working with the homeless executive and other charities, it said three individuals in the city centre who were sleeping rough accepted supports but declined offers of accomodation.

In Kildare, the council/Peter McVerry freephone number received 14 calls overnight from homeless individuals. One person needed advice and information and 13 people were accommodated within its services.

The charity said gardaí assisted with transport for three people to its services late last night and one person was transported by the army at 2am last night from the Curragh area.

Inner City Helping Homeless told TheJournal.ie that its walking teams assisted over 80 people overnight.

Homelessness charity Depaul said it has put provisions in place to keep more than 200 emergency one night only beds open 24hrs a day during the severe weather forecast for this week.

Brú Aimsir, Little Britain Street, Mount Brown and Blessington Street hostels will remain open 24 hrs until Sunday, 4 March.

“One Night Only hostels are usually partial access, meaning service users, generally, have to leave the hostel at 10am and cannot regain access until 6pm, often with nowhere to go. It is vitally important that measures are put in place during extremely cold weather to prevent vulnerable homeless people from being put at risk,” the charity said this morning.

Depaul management and staff have agreed to work additional shifts and put in place emergency plans ahead of the extreme weather warning so that as many people as possible can be kept inside and out of the dangerous weather conditions.

Read: Live traffic and travel updates as the Beast from the East hit Ireland overnight>

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