Wednesday 20 September 2017

Carol Hunt: Ability to pay trumps even the right to life

The Government could eradicate homelessness overnight – if only it had the will to do so

If ever there was an initiative that required cross-departmental assistance it is housing
If ever there was an initiative that required cross-departmental assistance it is housing
Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt

What do you say to your young child when he asks, "Mammy, why is that man sleeping in the street? It's freezing cold and if he stays out here he might die."

We know this occurs. Just last week a man narrowly avoided being crushed to death after he fell asleep in a recycling bin in Dublin city. Last year a Polish man was not so lucky, as workers discovered his body in a truck at Ballymount recycling centre. Last November, the body of a 40-year-old man was found dead from hypothermia in a shop doorway in Bray.

"Because he doesn't have a home" seems such a nonsensical answer to my child's question. It's like stepping over a person who is bleeding to death and bemoaning the fact that he can't afford a doctor: the fact that there are many in the vicinity who could quite easily staunch his wounds, quite possibly save his life, is irrelevant. Ability to pay trumps everything. Even the right to life.

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