Homeless couple slept rough on scaffolding at Hawkins House

Two adults found sleeping on scaffolding installed at Department of Health building

 Hawkins House (left) on Hawkins Street, adjacent to Apollo House, in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Hawkins House (left) on Hawkins Street, adjacent to Apollo House, in Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

A homeless couple was found sleeping on scaffolding beside Department of Health buildings in Dublin’s city centre early last week.

The two adults were discovered by staff from the government department sleeping rough on scaffolding which had been installed around the Hawkins House building on Hawkins Street by the Office of Public Works (OPW) as a safety measure.

A statement from the Department of Health said the two people voluntarily left the area shortly after they were found and that staff from the department contacted Dublin City Council to try to put the couple in touch with support services.

Dublin City Council officials managed to locate the couple, who have since been housed in emergency accommodation.

Scaffold inspection

The OPW is due to inspect the scaffolding to ensure it remains secure.

A statement from the Department of Housing said it intended to deliver up to 47,000 new units of social housing by 2021 and increase the output of private housing as a long-term solution to homelessness in the State.

It said the the Government would spend €100m on homelessness this year, while 21,000 households would have “their social housing needs met” and housing-first solutions for those with addiction problems would triple to 300.

The statement added that under the ’Rebuilding Ireland’ action plan for housing and homelessness, the Department would ensure that young people leaving State care and at risk of homelessness were identified and catered for through appropriate housing and other supports.

A total of 6,906 people are currently homeless across the State, according to the latest statistics from Census 2016. Of these, 1,846 are children, while the vast majority of people experiencing homelessness are in the Dublin region. Some 123 people were sleeping rough on the night the census was taken.