Monday 24 October 2016

Shock figures show 900 homeless children need beds in city every night


A SHOCKING 900 children a night have been accommodated by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) in the first three months of the year.

The stark figure emerged in a new report by the agency which is grappling with the capital's homelessness crisis.

"In excess of 1,800 adult individuals were accompanied on a nightly basis in Q1 (Quarter 1) 2015," the report states.

"These adults were accompanied by approximately 900 children each night, 67pc of whom were accompanied with their families in hotels," it adds.

Dublin's stretched homeless services dealt with 681 additional adult individuals accessing emergency accommodation between the start of January to the end of March this year compared to the same period in 2014. There has been a renewed focus on homelessness since the tragic death of Jonathan Corrie, who was sleeping rough just metres from the Dail, in December last year.

The government pledged shelter and emergency beds for every homeless person seeking one.

The DRHE addresses this initiative.

"Many of the additional beds introduced in Q4 2014 following the Government's December 2014 Summit on Homelessness were 'one-night-only' services. "This led to an increased number of beds available each night.


"There were a total of 22,911 placements made to emergency accommodation in Q1 2015 which is 8,642 more than Q4 2,440," the report added.

The Merchants Quay Ireland Night Cafe was used by 660 homeless people over the first three months of this year.

Meanwhile, 105 adults were still found to be sleeping on the streets on the night of the spring rough-sleeper count.

The crisis has been exacerbated in part by the increasing cost of rent in the capital and a reluctance on the part of some landlords to accept rent allowance.

The situation has been marked by the number of families who find themselves in need of emergency accommodation.

Earlier this week, the issue was raised with sculptor Tim Schmalz unveiling a statue of a 'homeless Jesus' in the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral.

The original statue was installed in Toronto, Canada, in 2013 and casts have been put in place in cities across the United States and Europe.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of the Catholic Church and Archbishop Michael Jackson of the Church of Ireland were also present and criticised the ongoing homeless crisis as "scandalous".

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