Monday 26 June 2017

WATCH: 'There was a time I was the one walking past with shopping bags' Homeless man on reality of spending Christmas on the streets

Jason Kennedy and Denise Calnan

Christmas Day on the street is just like any other day, according to one rough sleeper in Dublin City Centre.

'Derek' has spent a few Christmases sleeping rough and says they don't get any easier.

"It's horrible. I have three kids myself. There was a time when I was the one walking past homeless people with all my shopping bags. It's very upsetting," he told Independent.ie.

"I have no plans for Christmas. When I wake up, it'll be another day. Simple as that."

The Dublin local, who was begging for change beside an ATM on George's Street when approached by Independent.ie, says that Irish people are generous when it comes to donating to ease the homeless crisis.

"There are some very good people around. If there weren't, the crisis would be a whole lot worse.

"Homelessness is the biggest hidden secret in Ireland."

According to statistics released last month, there are around 142 people sleeping rough on Dublin's streets every night.

Earlier in the year, A city centre headcount by the Dublin Simon Community on Tuesday morning found 168 people slept outside in doorways, shop fronts, streets and parks.

The figure does not include another 60 people on a floor in the Merchant's Quay Night Cafe or unknown numbers trying to bed down in Phoenix Park.

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