Friday 23 June 2017

Charities can't be expected to solve homeless crisis - Higgins

President Michael D. Higgins is greeted by Jodie Giovanna Pezzilli and dog Misty Buttons, a Bichon Frise cross, during a vist to the DSPCA in Rathfarnham, Dublin
President Michael D. Higgins is greeted by Jodie Giovanna Pezzilli and dog Misty Buttons, a Bichon Frise cross, during a vist to the DSPCA in Rathfarnham, Dublin

Ciara Treacy

President Michael D Higgins has said it is a "very saddening and stark reality" that homeless accommodation is still needed 100 years after the foundation of the State.

The President warned that charities which support the homeless could not be left to resolve the homelessness crisis. Marking the centenary of the Depaul Ireland's Back Lane Hostel in Dublin's inner city, Mr Higgins said: "In a way it's very saddening and a stark reality that homeless accommodation is still with us 100 years after the establishment of our State.

"What have people asked for in the last 100 years?

"They've asked for good adequate homes that meet their needs, that are safe, secure, in communities that are secure and safe and have the opportunity of passing on that bit of confidence you have from one generation to another.

"That is not rocket science. There is nothing inevitable about homelessness, nor need there be."

He said coming from homelessness, coming from sleeping rough, is more than just being free from rain and cold. "It is an opportunity to put yourself together as a person and take stock and to begin steps towards full participation in society," he added.

The President later visited the DSPCA Animal Rescue & Adoption Centre in Rathfarnham to mark its 175th anniversary.

Irish Independent

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