Sunday 18 February 2018

Homeless groups concerned about 'lack of emergency plans' for rough sleepers as temperatures to drop to -4C

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Homeless groups across the city are concerned that there are a lack of emergency plans in place for rough sleepers as temperatures are set to plummet to -4C tonight.

Met Éireann has issued two weather warnings in the last 24 hours.

A low temperature warning was in place overnight, but has since expired. Temperatures will sink even further this evening as a snow-ice warning comes into place.

It will remain in effect from 6pm Monday evening until 6 Tuesday morning, when the worst of the icy conditions are expected to ease.

The alert covers Dublin and all of Leinster as well as Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford.

Inner City Helping Homeless Head of Communications, Brian McLoughlin told Independent.ie: "With a snow warning in place for Dublin this evening we have major concerns for the safety of people sleeping rough around the city tonight.

"Having liased with Met Eireann we understand that from 9pm tonight there will be snow showers that continue until the early hours of the morning.

"Only last week we saw the first death of the year as a man sleeping rough passed away near Parnell Street. On that night the DRHE confirmed that there were no available beds left in the system had the man wanted to access accommodation for the night. On the same night the ICHH outreach teams assisted 60 individuals that were sleeping rough so there is still a huge issue with the number of available beds in the system.

"We have reached out to the DRHE to find out what contingency plans are in place for tonight and if extra beds will be made available with the weather warning in place. We are awaiting their response at present. The public can help us by giving us a call on 01-8881804 or 085-8389281 if they see anyone sleeping rough around the city tonight."

The Peter McVerry Trust has made available 25 additional spaces as part of a broader sectoral response to the cold weather alert, a spokesman said.

"This complements the work of the Housing First Street Intake Team which will be engaging people sleeping rough and encouraging them to access available shelter and homeless services ahead of the predicted snowfall," he added.

A spokesman for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said the DRHE is "working hard" to ensure that anyone who looks for shelter will be facilitated.

"The DRHE in conjunction with charity partners have activated contingency measures for the Yellow Weather Warning period to include a large number of additional emergency placements which are now operational. 

"We are asking the public to please report if they see anyone sleeping rough to this link.  Housing First teams are out in Dublin now linking in with people sleeping rough and supporting them to access accommodation. Reports to this link really assist us in locating those that are sleeping rough, so that the outreach teams can link in with them."

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