Saturday 17 March 2018

Homeless boy (9) with cerebral palsy to have ramp installed at B&B where he has been living for more than 18 months

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Steve Humphreys Newsdesk Newsdesk

A nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who is homeless is to have an access ramp installed at a B&B where he has been living since last January.

The plight of the Dublin boy was highlighted by a new campaign designed to raise awareness about the challenges faced by more than 2,000 children who are homeless across the country.

The video has been viewed more than half a million times.

David (9) - a pseudonym - has been living for more than 18 months in a B&B with his mother and sister.

The accommodation has no disability access and footage was posted online showed the youngster inching up steps.

Their one room is not big enough for him to maneuver his walking frame and he often has to resort to crawling.

His mother told RTE Six One news that she has to lift her son down the steps.

“In May, he had actually fallen off the fourth step and fell down and split his head open on the stairs," she said.

The broadcaster is reporting that a ramp will now be installed at his B&B while his family continue to wait for a permanent home.

The Department of Housing said it could not comment on the case highlighted by the campaign but said:

"Resources and funding are not an issues and will not be an obstacle to the urgent delivery and heavy lifting that is now required".

Dublin based charity Inner City Helping the Homeless (ICHH)  is behind the #MyNameIs campaign, which was launched today.

In recent weeks newly appointed Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy was forced to deny releasing a series of reports into homelessness ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend.

A series of reports highlighted the problem is getting worse despite Government promises.

The department was criticised for releasing its own statistics for June on Friday, August 4 - as much of the country was winding down for the bank holiday weekend.

The figures showed there were 5,036 homeless adults, up from 4,922 in May. The number of homeless families also rose to 1,365, including an extra 118 children.

In a statement, the minister said the Government was "currently dealing with unprecedented levels of homelessness".

"The idea that the Government might try to hide this from the general public, seek to downplay the scale or turn away from it, does not take account of the huge amount of time and resources already being dedicated to this crisis."

Mr Murphy outlined a number of initiatives he had undertaken in recent weeks, noting that €5.3bn had been ring-fenced for housing and homelessness plans up to 2021.

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