Sunday 25 August 2019

Homeless 'better off' sleeping rough

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry
Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry

John Brennan

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry has said the standard of emergency accommodation is so "appalling" that often people would be better off sleeping on the streets.

Launching the 2014 annual report for the Peter McVerry Trust in Dublin yesterday, he warned the housing and homeless crisis is spiralling out of control.

"Last month there were almost 3,500 homeless people in emergency the last four months [Dublin City Council] were dealing with 73 families a month becoming homeless, so the problem continues to spiral out of control," said Fr McVerry, pictured right.

He added that most of the emergency accommodation currently available for homeless people is "of appalling quality" and that often "people would be better off sleeping on the streets".

The report found that for the seventh successive year the number of people using homeless services had increased.

The charity also warned that the recent spike in rents could push even more people out of their accommodation and into homeless services.

"I think we have an emergency, we have a housing and homeless emergency and I believe the Taoiseach should call an emergency," said Fr McVerry.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said it expected to help 7,500 people this year. "That will be a 68pc increase in a single year and it will be more than double the 2013 figure," he said.

Yesterday two people moved into the trust's new eight-apartment scheme on Clare Lane in Dublin city centre. One of the new residents, Patrick Kinsella, said: "Words can't describe how grateful I am for everything the trust are after doing for me."

Irish Independent

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