News & Events
The homeless and housing charity Peter McVerry Trust has welcomed the latest official rough sleeper count figures for Dublin. The count, which took place on the night of April 14th, shows a 38% drop in the number of people sleeping rough with 105 people bedded down compared to 168 people in the last official count in November 2014.
Speaking this morning following the publication of the figures the CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, Pat Doyle said “The reduction in the number of people sleeping rough is welcome. It’s positive that this is the single largest reduction in people sleeping rough since the official count began in 2007. However, having 105 people sleeping on the streets is still not acceptable and much work remains to be done to reduce that number further.”
“The reduction in the numbers is due in part to the impact that additional emergency accommodation has had but it is also down to the impact that new services such as the Focus Ireland – Peter McVerry Trust Housing First Service and the Night Cafe operated by Merchant’s Quay Ireland are having.”
“The Housing First Service has been operating since October 2014. The service engages with people sleeping rough, focuses on securing permanent accommodation instead of emergency shelter. Once housed intensive wrap around supports are delivered to help them sustain tenancies. This service has successfully housed a number of people who had been sleeping rough in Dublin since the last count.”
Making further progress
Mr Doyle said further progress can be made if measures are taken to give outlets to people in emergency accommodation. He is calling for movement on difficulties accessing rental accommodation “What we need is a realisation that we cannot continue along the path of opening more and more emergency accommodation. Its not sustainable and doesn’t meet the needs of people in homeless services who actually need permanent accommodation solutions.
“The Department of the Environment and the Department of Social Protection need to sit down and work out a solution to the many barriers that people in homeless services have accessing rental accommodation. If we don’t see movement on this issue there will be continued growth in the number of people in emergency accommodation as well as longer stays in shelters.”
“Peter McVerry Trust would call for an audit of vacant upper floor space in Dublin city to identify properties with vacant or poorly utilised upper floor space which could be turned into apartments for one and two person households. This is particularly the case above commercial premises which use only the ground floor and maybe parts of the upper floors. An audit of these properties would, I am sure show, significant potential for new units to be developed and be turned around quickly if the will and resources exist. This would be in the same veins as making the use of voids in local authority stock, and making the most of existing resources.”
Date 30th April 2015