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'Now we know there's nothing stopping us from solving the homelessness crisis'

Collapse of the tourist market has freed up more space, says doctor

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Room for manoeuvre: Dr Austin O’Carroll said the atmosphere at homeless clinics was ‘amazing’. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Room for manoeuvre: Dr Austin O’Carroll said the atmosphere at homeless clinics was ‘amazing’. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Room for manoeuvre: Dr Austin O’Carroll said the atmosphere at homeless clinics was ‘amazing’. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Dr Austin O'Carroll is a big fan of art. The GP, who is leading the new Dublin Homeless Covid-19 Response team, used to work in a clinic in the north inner-city. Things were stolen all the time. He once walked in on two people trying to take out a fireplace with a pickaxe. Against the advice of everyone, he put up art in the clinic. The theft stopped.

"I saw that as proof that if you give people the respect they deserve, they will respond," Dr O'Carroll said.

Fortunately for him, the Grangegorman Primary Care Centre is filled with art. Two weeks ago, the second floor of the centre was turned into a new homeless Covid-19 response unit.


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