herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Christy Burke: 'More than 100 people slept on the streets of Dublin last night'

Christy Burke
Christy Burke

More than 100 homeless people were counted on the streets of Dublin city last night, despite recent efforts to reduce the numbers by increasing bed supply and opening an all-night cafe.

Last night, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) said there were 103 people sleeping rough on the streets, one of them a 16-year-old boy.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke is now set to call for a second summit on homelessness, saying he is shocked by the figures.

The ICHH group warned that beds in the capital are becoming scarce again.

This is despite a drive by Environment Minister Alan Kelly to increase emergency accommodation following the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie on December 1 last.

A summit was convened by Minister Kelly, which resulted in the extra bed space and a pledge to reduce the numbers sleeping on the street.

"The idea was that there would be beds for everyone," Christy Burke told the Herald today.

"But what we are hearing now is that there are new faces arriving on the streets that the ICHH hadn't seen before.

"We believe that there is a perception that there is homeless accommodation in Dublin city so people are coming from the Dublin local authority areas and surrounding counties seeking beds.

NUMBERS

"This has now put pressure on the extra bed numbers and we need to have another summit to discuss this," he added.

"I will now be calling Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Environment Minister Alan Kelly and looking for a new summit.

"We agreed at the last one that if numbers started to increase we would have another meeting.

"I will also address a board meeting of the ICHH tonight on the matter.

"The volunteers say the new faces they see are often not involved in addiction, and it is important we reach out to these people before things get bad for them."

Mr Burke said that he will be calling on managers from the outlying local authorities in Dublin, as well as in other counties, to take part in the new summit.

"We need to see if solutions can be found locally for homeless people instead of them having to travel to Dublin city centre where there is already a strain on resources," the Lord Mayor added.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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