100 extra homeless beds open this week
Extra beds are being made available in Dublin city centre this week to help bring the homeless off the streets at night.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive confirmed that 100 beds are being provided as part of the annual cold-weather initiative.
"The beds are due to be opened towards the end of this week," said a spokesperson.
"The aim of the initiative is to prevent fatalities or serious harm and to provide an emergency humanitarian response to the needs of persons who may be sleeping rough during cold weather."
The extra beds are at a centre on Thomas Street and are being made available to 80 single men and 20 single women, with support being provided by Crosscare.
"Every year, we bring this initiative in from November through to the end of March or beginning of April. We absolutely need to make sure that within this period that we have sufficient overnight cover, particularly if we hit zero temperatures," said the spokesperson.
The men's and women's units are separate and full capacity is expected in the first day or two.
Independent councillor Christy Burke said that last Thursday night there were 79 people sleeping rough in Dublin, including 14 women.
"The night before there was 82, of which 20 were women," he said.
He added that while the extra beds were welcome, more were needed on an ongoing basis.
"The initiative should not stop in April, it should remain," he said. "It's just not getting any better."