herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

Record number face a bleak Christmas homeless

Numbers sleeping rough fell
Numbers sleeping rough fell

This Christmas is likely to be the worst-ever for homelessness, as numbers reached the highest levels on record.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing reveal that a year-on-year increase of almost 800 people means that in October, for the first time ever, more than 10,500 people were living in Irish emergency accommodation.

An overall increase of 8.1pc since October last year has seen numbers rise from 9,724 then, to a total of 10,514 people living in emergency accommodation this year.

Increase

These figures show an increase of 117 people compared to September of this year, meaning 6,688 adults, 1,733 families and 3,826 dependants are now living in this type of housing.

Despite the overall increase, there was a decrease of 23 families and 47 children in emergency accommodation.

As of the latest count on November 26, there was also a decrease in the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin.

The 92 people confirmed as sleeping rough across the region represents a 41pc decrease on winter 2018.

"We are encouraged to see such a significant drop in the official number of people sleeping rough," said Peter McVerry Trust chief executive Pat Doyle.

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