Public urged to report rough sleeper locations as cold snap hits

Four rough sleepers have died on Irish streets in recent months

 

Homeless organisations are encouraging members of the public to report locations of rough sleepers so they could provide them with shelter during the cold weather.

Heavy snowfall is expected tonight and Met Éireann has issued a status orange snow-ice warning for Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath.

Francis Doherty, Head of Communications for the Peter McVerry Trust, said the group had received calls from “people who have come across people sleeping rough and their sleeping bags have frozen over.”

Mr Doherty said rough sleepers are “really vulnerable and our aim is to get them off the streets to somewhere safe.”

He said the Peter McVerry Trust has extra staff on the streets to encourage rough sleepers to come into the shelter. “We’ve made additional amounts of sleep spaces available within the existing hostel, that’s within the Peter McVerry Trust but that’s also across the sector,” he said.

They also have additional cold weather provisions in Kildare, he said. Mr Doherty said they are providing additional space for rough sleepers and also transport services to collect people and bring them to the hostel.

Mr Doherty said they are trying to encourage members of the public to report locations of rough sleepers, and make people more aware that they could seek shelter during the freezing weather.

“We’re actively encouraging the public to report locations of rough sleepers in Dublin and Kildare. We’ve had an increased response from members of the public over the last 36 to 48 hours and that means we can go out and respond ahead of tonight,” said Mr Doherty.

Four rough sleepers have died in Ireland in the past three months, and rough sleepers are particularly vulnerable under harsher weather conditions.

Two women have died rough sleeping in Cork in the past three months. Two weeks ago, two rough sleepers were found dead in Dublin.

A man in his late 50s who was sleeping in a tent in Ranelagh was on a “priority” list to be housed but could not be due to a lack of one-bed dwellings. The second man, a Lithuanian national in his late 30s, died outside the Four Courts where he had been sleeping rough.

To report the location of a rough sleeper contact 086 813 9015 or 1800 707 707, or visit http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper#1