herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

1 in 5 of homeless living in hostels have paid job

ONE fifth of those living in homeless hostels are actually working, new figures reveal.

The HSE has found that 20pc of those currently living in homeless accommodation did not qualify for a medical card because they have a job.

Homeless campaigners have claimed today that hundreds of people are being forced into emergency shelters because they cannot afford to pay rent -- despite the fact they have full or part-time jobs.

The latest complied figures show that over 2,300 adults avail of homeless services in the capital at any one time, with at least 600 people staying in emergency-style hostel accommodation.

There are over 20 agencies and groups working to ease the homeless problem in Dublin with millions of taxpayers' euro being provided to charities each year.



Chaotic

And agencies have reported a surge in the number of women seeking help from homeless agencies on a daily basis.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive said it is fearing the effects of further cuts to government funding this year.

Well-known Social Justice campaigner Fr Peter McVerry claimed that lack of safety in emergency hostels would make it extremely difficult to hold down work.

"Obviously the data is there to back this up, but hostel life is so chaotic that I would think any work engaged in would have to be part-time or temporary," he said.

Fr McVerry -- who has worked in the homeless area for over 20 years -- described homeless hostels in Dublin as "awful places" rampant with drugs.

"The biggest issue for me at the moment is these dormitory-style accommodations which people must sleep in.

"I have men who were abused as boys coming to me saying they break out in a sweat at the thought of sharing a room with other men. Often they wake up and the person sleeping beside them is gone, as is their money and sneakers. These places drive people into drugs and I would suspect many people are squatting or sleeping rough because they don't want to go into them."

Fr McVerry called on voluntary housing agencies to ensure people do not have to share large dormitories.

"People should have their own room. It doesn't have to be big, just a cubicle where they can lock the door. They just want to feel safe."

hnews@herald.ie

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