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Homelessness 'spiralling out of control' - charity

HOMELESSNESS in Dublin has “spiralled out of control” according to one of the country’s leading charities after new figures revealed a 20pc increase in people sleeping rough in the capital, compared with last winter.

New information form the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, which monitors rough sleeping, show that 168 people were homeless on the night of November 11 – a rise of 29 individuals compared with this time 12 months ago.

On the night of the count, 1,526 unique adult individuals were accommodated in homeless service emergency accommodation across the Dublin region while nearly three out of every four of the known persons who are rough sleeping, regularly access emergency accommodation

Responding to the latest figures, Sam McGuinness from the Dublin Simon Community said the problem was out of control.

“The growing problem of homelessness in Dublin can not and must not be ignored any longer. Over the past year, we have continuously voiced our concern at the ever rising number of people living without a roof over their head and rough sleeping in very vulnerable and chaotic situations,” he said.

He added the organisation views the 168 figure as the “absolute minimum” as it does not include people considered the “hidden homeless” who are couch surfing, staying in squats, hospitals, internet cafes or temporary B&Bs.

Focus Ireland said the 20pc rise should act as an “urgent warning” that immediate action is needed to address the lack of affordable accommodation the capital.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said the rise reflected the seriousness of the challenge facing the government and voluntary sector attempting to tackle homelessness.

He added there were a number of measures being progressed to counter the problem including the implementation of the Dublin Action Plan and a vacant properties programme to put 1,800 properties back into productive use before the end of the year.

Of the 168 people, 130 were male and 16 were female with 22 unknown. Some 59 were recorded as Irish while 39 were not form Ireland and the remaining 70 could not be determined.

Online Editors