By Ann Marie Foley - 05 May, 2016
Since November last year the Housing First rough sleeper initiative has engaged with over 900 “unique individuals.”
The Peter McVerry Trust, which operates the service along with Focus Ireland, revealed this following the publication of the latest rough sleeper figures for Dublin.
The statistics released yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that 102 people were sleeping rough in Dublin on the night of the 24 April.
This is a 10% increase on the last rough sleeper count which was in winter (November 2015).
“The figures in the spring rough sleeper count are unacceptable and deeply disappointing,” said Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust.
He called for “decisive action” to be taken by Government to stem the flow of people into homelessness.
This in turn would reduce the number in need of homeless services, free up bed capacity and get rough sleepers off the streets.
Ultimately more attention would be give to secure housing for those in homeless services.
“We need to see the urgent introduction of index linked rents and we need a substantial increase in rent supplement rates. There also need to see more support and better targeting of people at risk of becoming homeless,” he said.
Focus Ireland noted that as well as the 102 people that were found sleeping rough in Dublin on the night of 24 April, there were another 69 people in the Homeless Night Café on that night.
This brings the total to 171 people without a bed on that night.
This compares to a total of 152 people on the night of the previous count on 30 November 2015 (when 91 were sleeping rough and 61 in the Homeless Night Café.)
Focus Ireland called on the Government to act immediately to stop the constant flow of people into homelessness.
“The major reason for this crisis is the failure of previous governments to act to prevent a problem turning into a crisis and now it is an emergency situation,” the charity stated.
It added that while the last Government did some work to help prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless, the actions were neither sufficient nor fast enough to deal with the problems.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive Spring Count on Rough Sleeping on the night of 24 April shows that:
-102 people were confirmed sleeping rough
– 26% of these were aged 31-40years
– 25% were of unknown age
– 20% were aged 18-30 years
– The remainder were aged over 40 years.