137 are still sleeping rough in city centre
The number of people sleeping rough on Dublin’s streets rose to its highest level to date this year on Monday night – with 137 counted, according to a leading homeless charity.
The Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) group warned that beds in the capital are becoming scarce again despite a drive by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to increase emergency accommodation following the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie on December 1 last.
“It appears that the numbers of homeless in Dublin is continuing to rise at a faster rate than the beds we can supply for them,” said Lord Mayor Christy Burke, who volunteers with ICHH.
“I told Alan Kelly when the new shelters were announced that if we didn’t keep our foot on the pedal the numbers would grow again.
“One thing I noticed when the new beds were set up was there were people coming up from other counties to Dublin to avail of them, so the numbers of homeless in the capital increased.
“The number of beds has not decreased, but the numbers looking for them certainly has.
“I have been in touch with Alan Kelly this morning to let him know the current figures,” he said.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the emergency accommodation provided for homeless families by Dublin City Council has run out, according to Independent TD Tommy Broughan.
“Hotel and guest house accommodation was never an ideal solution for use as emergency accommodation and now it has run out,” the Dublin TD said.
“With tourist events such as the rugby match next weekend and St Patrick’s celebrations coming up, hotels, B&Bs and guest houses want and need their rooms to rent out to paying customers,” he said.
City and county councils have been placing families in emergency accommodation as an alternative while awaiting suitable housing, he explained.
“If you present as homeless to Parkgate Street with your children, there is nowhere for you to go,” Mr Broughan said.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said that assessment and placement services are working to “absolute capacity” to ensure that families who are presenting in a daily emergency situation and in imminent need can be accommodated.