Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Homeless Persons Data
I welcome the study because we have to have an informed and evidence-based approach to this. In many cases what we are seeing is the overlap of three sets of issues - homelessness, mental health and addiction - and the lack of adequate provision of those three services at the right time and place to meet the needs of individuals ,which in many cases, unfortunately, puts them at greater risk of tragic and unnecessary death. I have argued previously that we need to increase supports for mental health and addiction services and to press ahead with the programme for Government commitments on implementing Housing First, and on decongregating emergency accommodation. We need to introduce adult safeguarding reviews, as they have in Britain, to look back at where these deaths have occurred to see what lessons can be learned.
I take issue with one thing said by the Minister and this is said with the greatest respect because we need to have this conversation in a sensible way. It is not appropriate to include people who are in tenancies in the category that we are talking about and I am aware that other homeless services have expressed this view to the Minister. We are specifically talking about people who have either died while sleeping rough or while in emergency accommodation homeless services. That is an important distinction.