Sunday 19 November 2017

'Nobody should be on the street' - charities shelter homeless

Capuchin Centre
Capuchin Centre

Emergency responses were seen across the country as homeless charities and local authorities scrambled to ensure there was accommodation for all rough sleepers when Storm Ophelia hit yesterday.

In Dublin city alone, it is understood that some 368 rough sleepers were put up in a number of different locations .

This was 300 more than would usually use overnight accommodation, according to the Peter McVerry Trust.

Offer

Those who took advantage of the services were provided with camp beds or sleeping bags.

Around 50 sleeping bags were provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to the Capuchin Centre, who made enough room for 120 homeless people.

Francis Doherty, of the Peter McVerry Trust, said the public's help ensured they located most of the city's rough sleepers.

"We went out and engaged with as many rough sleepers as possible," said Mr Doherty.

"There were some that turned down the offer but most did not."

Mr Doherty said the charity was alerted to incidents of people sleeping in pop-up tents along Clontarf coast.

City councillor Christy Burke and a team from the Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) are understood to have been out until midnight in order to ensure that nobody was left sleeping on the streets.

"It's been hectic, but so far a lot of homeless are indoors. We might get some people that stay out, it's crazy," Mr Burke said.

"Brother Kevin of the Capuchin Centre says he doesn't want to see anyone on the street, he wants them all brought in."

Those staying at the Capuchin Centre began arriving at around noon yesterday in order to avoid the storm.

Meanwhile, emergency one-night accommodation hostels have also been opened on a 24-hour basis.

They have been put in place by charities across the country, with Novas in Limerick similarly attempting to take in as many rough sleepers as possible.

Last night, Una Burns from Novas said: "We're open 24 hours until at least tomorrow evening.

"It's been absolutely chock-a-block all day.

"We will take in anyone who presents themselves."

The Society of St Vincent de Paul expects to fill two hostels in Cork, along with hostels in Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Wexford, Carlow, Longford and Donegal.

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