herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Number of city rough sleepers jumps 35pc

Sam McGuinness, of the Dublin Simon Community Photo: Conor McCabe Photography
Sam McGuinness, of the Dublin Simon Community Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

The number of rough sleepers in the capital has jumped by 35pc in a year, with 138 people now bedding down on Dublin's streets.

The figures, compiled by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) during its spring count on April 4, showed 72pc of the total were sleeping rough in the city centre.

An additional 57 people, bringing the total to 195, acc- essed the Night Cafe operated by Merchants Quay Ireland during the night of the count.

Of the 138 sleeping rough, the DRHE estimates that 30pc are foreign nationals.

Only 85 were confirmed as Irish and 13 as foreign nationals on the night due to more than 40 being asleep at the time.

Determined

Roughan McNamara, of Focus Ireland, said the numbers were to be expected and called for more determined action to be taken to tackle the housing crisis in the country.

"It is vital to always remember that behind every one of these numbers is a man or woman who is sleeping rough on the street or on the floor in a night cafe," he said.

"This is wrong and totally unacceptable. We all need to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to end this terrible and unacceptable human crisis."

Sam McGuinness, of the Dublin Simon Community, said the numbers becoming homeless are overwhelming the efforts made by local authorities to tackle the problem.

"The ever-rising flow into homelessness means that there is a real challenge to keep up with the demands for beds," he said.

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