Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Homeless Persons Data
I thank the Minister for his response. For those of us who live in Dublin and who walk around the city, particularly in the mornings, the anecdotal evidence is that more and more people are sleeping rough. That said, I agree with the Minister that anecdotal evidence is not enough.
Seven or eight months ago, there was a spell of particularly bad weather, including Storm Emma and so forth, and emergency initiatives were put in place. Despite all the additional emergency accommodation in the system, rough sleepers, who were out in challenging and difficult conditions, had to be accommodated in a sports hall on Marrowbone Lane. Four or five marquees were erected and more than 100 people turned up who had never been included in the equation. How do we determine the need that exists because as accommodation and supports are provided, more people are turning up to avail of them? I am concerned that the scale of the problem is greater than we realise, with rough sleepers who are outside the immediate catchment area, along the canals and so forth, not being included in the official figures. When the weather turned bad last winter, 100 additional people turned up who had not been anticipated and had to be accommodated in a sports hall. That is my underlying concern.