Eileen Gleeson, Director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE). Dublin City Council, through the DHRE, is the lead local authority in the response to Homelessness in Dublin.
Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, said long-term homelessness resulting from years of “bad behaviour” cannot be solved by the efforts of “ad hoc” unauthorised groups.
“Let’s be under no illusion here, when somebody becomes homeless it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years of bad behaviour probably, or behaviour that isn’t the behaviour of you and me,” she told Dublin City Council’s policing committee.
“They’re afraid to come in, they’re reluctant, they’re quite happy to continue with the chaotic lifestyle they have. If somebody provides them with some sort of halfway shelter they’ll willingly take it.”
Homeless people are “entitled to dignity”, she said, but they must be linked up with expert staff who can break the cycle and get them off the streets permanently. “If they’re only getting a cup of soup and they’re homeless it isn’t helpful,” she told councillors.
“Some of this narrative has seeped into international coverage of our housing system and is damaging to Ireland’s international reputation, that our social response to this issue is being portrayed as dysfunctional.
As Teachta Dála we have a responsibility in this regard and the good work being done in difficult circumstances needs to be recognised.”
Junior Housing Minister Damien English in the Dáil last night.