Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Homeless Persons Data
The Minister quoted a lot of figures but I am not sure if he outlined what I specifically sought. I will try to keep it simple. I specifically asked him about the number of beds that are available for rough sleepers in the Dublin area. I then asked him what is the current number of people deemed to be rough sleepers. The reason is that I am trying to ensure there is adequate capacity. From time to time we have, unfortunately, seen rough sleepers die on the streets. While bad weather may be a contributory factor in some cases, neglect has always been a cause. I am not abdicating our responsibility. We all have a role to play to ensure that does not happen. From the point of view of clarity, in order to understand the situation, we need the Minister to provide those figures. What is the number of beds available in the Dublin area for rough sleepers and what is the number of people who are categorised as sleeping rough and are they a match? Anecdotal evidence from this summer, and even today walking through town, is that we are beginning to see more people who are rough sleepers. I am concerned that if we are seeing them on such a scale that we do not have the required number of beds. I am very concerned about what that will mean in the winter months.