Bray opens public buildings to homeless
Bray Town Council is to leave the doors of two public buildings ‘on the latch’ in an attempt to provide shelter for people who are sleeping rough in the town.
A lifeguard’s hut and the Bray Heritage Centre will be opened from tonight for people who choose not to avail of existing support services in the town.
The move follows the death at the weekend of homeless man Paul Doyle.
The 33-year-old was found on the grounds of a Tesco supermarket on Quinsborough Road at about 7am on Saturday. He was taken to St Columcille’s hospital in Loughlinstown where he was pronounced dead.
Hypothermia has not been ruled out as a cause of death.
Speaking this evening, Mayor of Bray Cllr Mick Glynn said the council had decided to provide shelter for the “two or three” people who sleep rough in the town but who choose not to avail of available services.
Bray currently has a dry hostel with a capacity for 22 people. Other services are provided by agencies such as Sa Bhaile, Simon and the HSE.
The council buildings will be unmanned and will not have a check-in system in operation.
“It’s very difficult to intervene when a homeless person decides not to get involved [with established support services],” Cllr Glynn said.
Both buildings have an electricity supply and will be equipped for heat.
“These aren’t exactly shelters but somewhere where they can get a bit of warmth,” he said.
Following a meeting of council officials and the council’s director of housing this evening it was decided to open the buildings as an interim measure.
Mr Glynn said the council would keep the buildings open until the cold weather subsides and will look at extending the initiative at a later date.