Wednesday 16 January 2019

'We were caught on the hop,' admits homeless trust

Transport issues: Pat Doyle
Transport issues: Pat Doyle
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Driving snow affected homeless services in the capital, with agencies saying getting staff into work was the main difficulty.

The Fr Peter McVerry Trust said that while the number of beds for the homeless was adequate, moving staff around caused the most problems.

"We were caught on the hop to some degree. We all expected a few flurries of snow but we didn't expect it to be as bad as it was," said CEO Pat Doyle.

"The forecast might not have been wrong but the timeframe was, it kept getting extended. "Buses and trains were still operating but there were delays, and we were caught on the hop in relation to travel. We asked our staff who were due to finish yesterday morning to stay on while their changeover staff were making their way in."

He said an analysis they had carried out with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) before the weekend indicated they needed 101 beds and this proved adequate.

"On Saturday night our joint team came across 13 people outside, four who had already bedded down, who were offered beds the night but declined.

"Our first priority yesterday was finding these people again and ensuring they were OK," said Mr Doyle.

"We also opened 11 beds in Kildare on Saturday night.

"We didn't think the snow would be as heavy, but sometimes these things are probably hard to predict."

Meanwhile, a homeless man passed away on the streets of Cork yesterday.

The man, aged in his 50s, is understood to have been discovered in a doorway near Washington Street. Inner City Helping Homeless said it was a "disgrace" the man had to sleep in a doorway while snow fell across the country.

Irish Independent

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