Thursday 20 September 2018

Scramble to persuade rough sleepers to seek safety indoors

Waves crash against the shore at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins
Waves crash against the shore at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Homelessness campaigners warned that the 'Beast from the East' should serve as a stark warning over the life-and-death struggle faced daily by rough sleepers on Irish streets.

Special outreach teams are now combing the streets of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway in a bid to persuade even those who have traditionally refused a shelter bed to seek safety indoors during the worst of Storm Emma.

A total of 84 additional emergency shelter beds have been provided in Dublin, and homeless support charities said they had been "overwhelmed" by offers of help from volunteers and concerned citizens.

However, the latest homelessness figures have made for stark reading for the Government.

There has been a nationwide increase in homelessness, with the Cork-Kerry region alone reporting a startling 29pc increase on 2017 figures.

Dublin is understood to have witnessed a comparable increase of around 20pc.

The number of families in emergency accommodation across the south-west is up 20pc - with homelessness rates overall having soared a staggering 57pc since 2016.

Irish Independent

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