Extreme cold weather highlights the vulnerability of people experiencing homelessness this Christmas

Dublin Simon launches Appeal asking for urgent donations and rough sleeping notifications to help bring people into safe and warm accommodation as temperatures plummet

by Alison O'Hanlon
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As temperatures plummet below zero Dublin Simon is asking for the public’s help in supporting people who find themselves homeless this Christmas time as Met Eireann implements a Status Yellow weather warning due to low temperatures. 

Due to the high risk of hypothermia, Dublin Simon’s Outreach team is urging members of the public to report anyone they see sleeping rough through the Dublin Rough Sleeper Alerts App.  The team is particularly concerned that the chaotic events in Dublin city centre last week may have prompted some people who sleep rough to move from their usual central locations into more out of the way places, making it more challenging for Outreach to provide essential care to this vulnerable group.

The public can also help by supporting Dublin Simon Community’s annual Christmas Appeal, which raises essential funds that enables the charity to continue its frontline work now and throughout the year. This year the Appeal highlights that ‘Christmas isn’t Christmas When You’re Homeless’, and highlights the range of people affected by homelessness and how their attention will be focused on simply surviving during the festive period. 

The most recent figures for people in emergency accommodation show that a shocking 44% of the 9,713 people without a home in Dublin are children and young people aged 24 or under.  More than 1,400 families representing 3,060 children in Ireland’s capital will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation.  

Dublin Simon’s CEO Catherine Kenny reflects on the impact on children and young people who are living in survival mode at the most pivotal time of their life. “At a time when young people should be full of hope about their future prospects, it is devastating to see our youngest people struggling with homelessness, and in some cases taking to the streets, as a result of things like economic challenges, family conflict, ageing out of the care system, or addiction.

“As Dublin continues to grapple with this escalating crisis, Dublin Simon urges increased awareness, empathy, and support from the public and policymakers this Christmas to create sustainable solutions for young people experiencing homelessness. Everyone deserves not only to survive, but to thrive.

“The charity sector faces the daunting task of again protecting and supporting the most vulnerable on the streets and in temporary accommodation during Christmas. At Dublin Simon our Outreach and Emergency accommodation teams are committed to working with the most vulnerable people during this cold winter weather. Our current appeal, “Christmas isn’t Christmas when you are homeless,” resonates deeply.” 

Please donate what you can at www.dubsimon.ie this Christmas to ensure the continuation of these life-saving services.

 

           

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