Homelessness is on the rise, says Daly

by Gazette Reporter
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The number of homeless people in north Dublin is on the rise, according to local TD Clare Daly (Ind), who says the issue is becoming a “much more visible” problem around the country.
Her comments came after it was revealed by Fingal County Council at least four people were believed to be sleeping rough in the Malahide and Howth area.
Speaking about the issue she said there was no doubt that homelessness was increasing across the city, and that north county Dublin was no exception.
At a recent area committee meeting, the local authority said that rough sleepers have been seen congregating at a number of locations in Malahide, Portmarnock and Howth. Statistics for the Swords area were not available at the time of going to press.
While there are a number of options available to rough sleepers in Fingal, the local authority said such services have been offered to the homeless people referred to but they have refused to engage with the Rough Sleepers Outreach Team.
Deputy Daly says that when people become homeless, they often require support above and beyond a simple provision of accommodation.
“There are often many other issues at play and they often require specialist help. I don’t believe that people simply refuse to engage with the services, but sometimes the services that are available are not suitable for people’s needs and they fear going into temporary accommodation in which they would be vulnerable.”
Unless a determined and proactive approach is taken, Deputy Daly says the problems will continue.
A spokesperson for the Peter McVerry Trust, which supports young homeless people in Dublin, said that often the decision by individuals sleeping rough not to engage with services may relate to their “complex individual needs” including issues such as drug misuse and mental health difficulties.
“It could also be as a result of their past experiences in institutions and a lack of trust.
“However, it is important to note that the outreach team will continue to engage with these individuals to establish trust and to assist them into temporary or supported accommodation services and ultimately to exit homelessness.
“We would ask members of the public to assist rough sleepers by reporting sightings of anyone sleeping rough.
“This can be done by visiting www.homelessdublin.ie.”
The council conducted a count on homeless people living rough in Fingal on Tuesday, November 12 and the report is due to be put together next week.

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