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Monday 20 November 2017

Record spring rough sleeper count, as almost 7,500 people homeless in Ireland

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Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The latest national figures for homelessness show there are now more than 7,000 people who are homeless in Ireland.

The figures show that there are 4,909 adults who are homeless and 1,256 homeless families. There are also 2,563 'dependents' listed as homeless.

Meanwhile, the number of rough sleepers found during the the latest survey in Dublin found the highest number of people sleeping rough during the spring count.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) found 138 people sleeping rough on April 4.

On that night a group of Romanians who had recently arrived to secure work were also discovered by staff, but were not included in the main count.

Of the group 85 people had accessed homelessness service before, while seven had not. For the rest the count team were unable to determine if they had accessed services.

The DRHE said 85 people were Irish nationals, while 13 were non-nationals.

Of those counted the majority (73pc) were found in the city centre.

The count does not include the Romanians, some of whom arrived having been promised work.

More than half of these people have "now been successfully repatriated", the DRHE said.

On the night of the count there were also 57 people sleeping in the Merchants Quay Ireland night cafe.

Since January at least 100 beds have been added and 150 more are to be added under current projects.

As committed to in the Government's house plan the Dublin Housing First Service has been expanded to 300 tenancies which will specifically be for persons who are rough sleeping.

Reacting to the figures Minister Simon Coveney said they were a "stark indicator of the challenges we face".

“We remain committed to finding more homes for people who find themselves homeless, we remain fully focused on increasing supply which is at the core of our various housing challenges," he said in a statement.

"There are no quick-fix solutions here but I will continue to work with my colleagues in Government and all stakeholders to address the major challenge that is homelessness."

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