THE homeless crisis has reached “unprecedented” levels in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as no beds are currently available for single homeless people.
Anyone who registers as homeless in the council area is referred to Dublin City’s central placement unit for emergency accommodation in one of Dublin’s shelters.
However, for all of last week, all of the beds that are secured for single applicants were occupied and those looking for a bed were given a number to call in the event that a bed became free.
A source has revealed to The Gazette that most people had to make do with a sleeping bag.
The Gazette spoke to 55-year-old homeless Dun Laoghaire man Thomas McKeon, who say he has been on the list for accommodation for 15 years. He suffers from a number of illnesses and has currently has no access to emergency accommodation.
“I was born and reared in Dun Laoghaire. I’m getting nowhere – I just need a little place to live; I’m on the list that long and everyone is getting sorted before me.”
Cllr Hugh Lewis (PBP) described the situation as an “utter disgrace”.
He said: “The housing crisis continues to deepen and it is now seemingly acceptable for the state to have zero available beds for homeless people.
“After all the fanfare of the Government’s new housing strategy, it is now abundantly clear that homelessness is growing, yet the resources are simply not being provided.”
A spokesperson from the council did not respond to Cllr Lewis’ statements, but told The Gazette: “We are currently experiencing an unprecedented demand for emergency accommodation across the Dublin region,” and said that access to accommodation is through a freephone number, 1800 707 707.
Cllr Lewis said that the housing crisis “has continued to worsen despite the recent launch of Minister Simon Coveneys’ new housing strategy,” and said that the housing assistance payment scheme is not working.
“The facts speak for themselves – no beds are available for single homeless people, and they instead are being offered sleeping bags.
“If this happened in the winter months, there would be deaths on our streets.”