Forum on homelessness to take place in Dublin

Emergency cold weather beds for Dublin’s homeless as temperatures drop

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly will chair the meeting to “brainstorm” on alleviating homelessness in the short, medium and long term. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly will chair the meeting to “brainstorm” on alleviating homelessness in the short, medium and long term. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

An all-day summit on how to alleviate the pressures of homelessness in the Dublin region will take place today.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Minister of State Paudie Coffey will chair the meeting to “brainstorm” and listen to suggestions on alleviating homelessness in the short, medium and long term.

Interested NGOs; the four Dublin local authority chief executives; the four Dublin mayors; representatives from the Departments of Social Protection, Health and Children; the Taoiseach’s office; the Health Service Executive; Nama; the Housing Agency; and the Church of Ireland and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin have all been invited.

The forum was convened following the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie (43), a short distance from Leinster House earlier this week.

A list of actions from the meeting will be presented to a Cabinet committee and will be reported to the Dáil next week.

Emergency beds

Homeless charities say there are not enough emergency beds and homeless people are being turned away from shelters. Dublin Region Homeless Executive says it has provided an additional 38 beds as part of a cold weather initiative. A further 88 are due before the end of the year.

These beds will be available until the end of March as part of an “emergency humanitarian response”. The initiative is targeted at those who do not access services or may be ineligible for welfare benefits. Latest figures suggest up to 170 people sleep rough in Dublin each night, an 20 per cent rise on the same period last year.