Dublin city centre.
Also Dublin city centre this afternoon.
Earlier: A Small Opening
From top: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe; Latest family homless figures
The Department of Housing published the homeless figures for October.
They show there were 5,999 adults, 1,709 families and 3,725 children – a total of 9,724 individuals – staying in State-funded emergency accommodation in the final week of October.
This means the number of adults accessing emergency accommodation has increased by 133, the number of families has decreased by 44 and the number of children has also decreased by 104.
The official Department of Housing homeless figures do not include the number of people who are sleeping rough across Ireland.
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland…
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was asked about the latest homeless figures and he said they represented “a great personal challenge” for everyone in Government and it’s something they know “they need to do better on and we challenge ourselves every day to see how we can do it”.
“I know what the new figures are for the number of people who are homeless. I’m aware of the fact that we’re above 10,000. As against that, we have additional money going this year into our homeless hubs, homeless services and, next year, we’ll be spending the highest amount we ever have on housing.
“We are seeing more homes being built, we’ll deliver around 18,000 to 19,000 homes this year and I’ve made available a further €60million towards the end of this year to invest in services. It’s something that is a really solemn responsibility for us all on, to do better on and we’re working to do that.”
Listen back in full here
Principal Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, Enda McGorman
On RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.
Journalist Evelyn O’Rourke reported on homeless children who go to school hungry because the breakfast area at their place of accommodation isn’t open in time for them to eat before leaving for school.
[The most recent Department of Housing figures show that, as of the final week in September, 3,829 children were living in staying in State-funded emergency accommodation across the country]
Ms O’Rourke visited the Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, and met the school’s principal Enda McGorman who is also a member of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network.
Mr McGorman told Ms O’Rourke:
“It’s a growing concern for me and school principals…One area that we’re really, really worried about is the effect that homelessness and the homeless crisis is having on children in school. The immediate effects that it’s having on school children, it’s really alarming and it’s at a basic level.
“One family that we’re trying to support – their B&B was in town. So to get transport out here, the children had to be on a bus so early that the breakfast bar wasn’t open for them. So they would come to school hungry.
“…And I think one of the other issues for us, it’s so silent, maybe not always here until kids maybe are already homeless and already in a place that they can’t back to school to and then we see absenteeism or we see lateness and we start to query it, where parents are either through fear or shame, forget or don’t wish to share it with us.
“I’m just thinking in the last month, I’ve written three letters for families to say ‘I know this family, they’re a good solid family, please afford them the opportunity to rent your house’.
“Because they’ll go to view a house and there could be 100 families waiting ahead of them. So you never thought you’d be doing that as a school principal, to try and support people who you’ve known and whose children you’ve known…these are some of the realities that we’re dealing with that we never thought we’d be dealing with.
“Another concern we have is homework. And ‘how can I do my homework if I’m lying on the floor?’. One of the families that we’re supporting were living in one of these, it wouldn’t be quite a hotel standard, but it was surrounded by roundabouts, on the periphery of a motorway and even accessing it, getting in and getting out of there, there’s no public transport.
“So the family were literally trapped there. There’s no way those children were going to get to our school. And no prospect of them leaving it either.”
Mr McGorman also said he has often been approached by parents who go to him for help after they’ve received eviction letters.
Listen back in full here
Pick your colour ✊
Let, @campaignforleo know your feelings on..
*Deaths on the Streets
*Rip off rent
— Mick Caul (@caulmick) November 5, 2018
The #MyNameIs campaign is calling on supporters to join their Twitter Storm to highlight the issues around homelessness and the chronic lack of housing.
The most recent Department of Housing figures showed there were 5,869 adults, 1,753 families and 3,829 children – a total of 9,698 individuals – staying in State-funded emergency accommodation in the final week of September last.
The Raise the Roof rally in Dublin on October 3
On Friday, December 1.
At the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin 1, at 2pm.
A National Housing Demonstration will be held in Dublin, organised by the the National Homeless and Housing Coalition, who say:
After the massive success of the #RaiseTheRoof rally on October 3rd, when we had 12,000 on the streets outside Dáil Éireann, the National Homeless and Housing Coalition have called a national demonstration on the housing crisis to take place on December 1st at 2pm.
Huge momentum is building and grass roots groups campaigning, providing front-line services and advocating for action on the housing crisis, are calling for water style demonstrations to put pressure on the government.
The Department of Housing released figures showing there were 5,869 adults, 1,753 families and 3,829 children – a total of 9,698 individuals – staying in State-funded emergency accommodation in the final week of September.
In a statement, the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said:
Nationally the number of persons accessing emergency accommodation increased by 171 persons (1.79%) when compared to August.
The report shows an increase of 35 adults and 136 dependants.
However, new data shows that for a second month in a row family presentations in Dublin are down, and the number of new families entering emergency accommodation is also down.
Furthermore, in Dublin in the month of September, 119 families were prevented from entering emergency accommodation, while 45 families exited emergency accommodation.
Pics via Department of Housing
Statement via Merrion Street
Previously: Keep Them Down
Dáire O’Driscoll tweetz:
This photo from @LovinDublin’s Instagram features “fairy tale” Dublin; complete with homeless person camped out in the background. This is at best pure stupidity and and at worst horrific apathy.
It’s easy to be distracted when something becomes an everyday sight. But #homelessness is not normal and it is not acceptable. Please sign our petition today and send a strong message to Government https://t.co/lTfnqt3nQ5 #HomelessnessNotNormal #TheBigConversation pic.twitter.com/4hAg4oT6He
— Simon Communities (@SimonCommunity) September 24, 2018
You can sign the Simon Community’s ‘homeless is not normal’ petition here.
Earlier: Below The Gaiety
In Cork city.
Simon Toussifar tweetz:
Housing crisis 2018 in Ireland. People living in tents and sleeping bags around Cork City. Its like a scene from Calcutta, so sad.
Written by Roddy Doyle and directed by Paddy Breathnach.
Starring Sarah Greene and Moe Dunford.
“Rosie tells the story of a mother trying to protect her family after their landlord sells their rented home and they become homeless. Over 36 hours, Rosie and her partner John Paul strive to find somewhere to stay while shielding their young family from the reality of the situation around them. Rosie examines how even in times of crises; the love and strength of a family can endure.”
Rosie will be in cinemas from October 12.
Yesterday: 24 More Families, 43 More Children
Previously: For Your Consideration
Eileen Gleeson, head of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive; and (top) children sleeping in Tallaght Garda station last night
Further to this morning’s story concerning a young family sleeping in Tallaght Garda station…
Eileen Gleeson, head of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, told Claire Byrne, on RTÉ’s News at One, that no homeless person needs to sleep in a Garda station.
Ms Gleeson’s comment follows the circulation of a photograph (above) last night and this morning of children sleeping in Tallaght Garda station (a mother and her six children, aged from one to 11, slept in the station last night).
Dublin City Council confirmed earlier this morning that 10 homeless families were unable to source accommodation in Dublin last night.
Of these, the council was able to source accommodation for five of the 10 families, while one family “refused the offer of accommodation, two of the families were linked back into their region and two did not seek further assistance”.
Ms Gleeson said homeless families sleeping in Garda stations is not the norm, and that she could not verify how many families presented to Garda stations as she said it’s not the policy of the DRHE to refer homeless people to Garda stations.
She also said it would be “much better” if homeless families in need of help came forward earlier in the day as opposed to late in the evening.
Anthony Flynn, of Inner City Helping Homeless, told RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan this morning that 48 families were referred to Garda stations through statutory bodies last month, and that 47 families were referred in June.
He said homeless families sleeping Garda stations is the norm.
Ms Gleeson also said that the DRHE has a “contingency plan” in place for the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis and that may include moving homeless people to accommodation outside of Dublin for one night.
From Ms Gleeson’s interview with Ms Byrne:
Eileen Gleeson: “We’re challenged on a nightly basis and on a daily basis to ensure we provide emergency accommodation for people who are in crisis situations.”
Claire Byrne: “So did you, at the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, know that this family was going to sleep in Tallaght Garda station last night?”
Gleeson: “No, we didn’t. And we wouldn’t, it isn’t our policy to refer families to Garda stations. However the reasons for why they might end up in a Garda station or why we might ask them to verify their identity in relation, and we might send them to a Garda station, for that purpose. But we didn’t know that this particular family were going to end up in a Garda station, no.
Byrne: “So how did it happen then?”
Gleeson: “Well, I’m assuming today that they’re one of the families that didn’t seek further assistance from us late last night.”
Byrne: “Are you saying that this family couldn’t have been accommodated if they had stayed in touch with you?”
Gleeson: “We’re always challenged in relation to finding appropriate accommodation for people and in relation to this particular family, there are large families, so there’s a challenge there as well. But if they had been, kept in touch with us, we would have continued to work with them to find appropriate accommodation for them. We did it for five of the 10 that were in trouble, late in the evening. And the others sorted themselves, one of them actually refused accommodation. So…”
Byrne: “Where did the five go that were stuck late on?”
Gleeson: “We have contingency beds and we have a large number of contingency beds in place, that we fill when families present in situations like this in crisis situations. And that’s where those five families would have gone, into those contingency beds.”
Byrne: “Can we glean from what you’re saying, that there’s no need for any family to spend a night in a Garda station?”
Gleeson: “Yes. There’s no need. We would work with them, continue to work with them, as long as it takes, to find appropriate accommodation for them. Or to link them back with the area in which they’ve come from.”
Byrne: “Sinn Féin has issued a statement today saying that 7 homeless families were referred to Garda stations last night.”
Gleeson: “We can’t verify that. We can’t verify that. We’ve heard that number…”
Byrne: “But surely you should know?”
Gleeson: “We don’t. It’s not our policy to refer families to Garda stations. What happens is the family turns up at a Garda station, the gardai will come the other way and we would know that a family is in a Garda station. But we haven’t verification that 7 families were in Garda stations last night. We have verification in relation to one.”
Byrne: “Given that you said that one family, I think you said, was it one family or two families refused the accommodation, I assume they’re the contingency beds…”
Byrne: “One family. Why is that? I mean what are those contingency beds like? What sort of places are they, where families would be expected to go?”
Gleeson: “They’re either B&B type of accommodation or they’re buildings where we have beds in them. Sometimes they are communal facilities with showers adjacent to them, where we will put up emergency beds for them, temporary beds. So that we can deal with them, accommodate them over night and process them, assess them the following day.”
Byrne: “So why do you think a family would refuse to go to a contingency bed or sleeping area?”
Gleeson: “There’s no good reason why they would refuse it.”
Byrne: “But there has to be if they’re saying ‘I’m not sleeping there’. I mean what reasons are they giving you?”
Gleeson: “They didn’t feel they would go to the accommodation that was offered. That’s their choice. But they were seeking accommodation, we offered them accommodation and they refused it.”
Byrne: “Are they telling you that it’s not safe?”
Gleeson: “What’s not safe about offering somebody accommodation if the alternative is they sleep on the street?”
Byrne: “I suppose what I’m just trying to figure out is why somebody would say to you: I’ve got no bed, I’ve got nowhere to sleep tonight but I’m not going into that contingency bed that you’re offering me. I’m just wondering what it is that they perceive about that contingency space that’s not for them?”
Gleeson: “Well, maybe you should be asking that of the people who refused it because we would be of the view that any of the contingency accommodation we have meets a standard. It’s perfectly adequate and is adequate to meet the accommodation needs of somebody in an emergency situation.”
Byrne: “What do you say to people who saw that picture today and felt morally outraged by it?”
Gleeson: “Well, we saw the picture ourselves. We’re all morally outraged by it. But it’s not, it’s not the norm, it shouldn’t be the norm, we should never accept it as the norm. But the Dublin Region Homeless Executive is working all of the time to ensure that people are adequately accommodated in emergency situations.
“When they arrive late in the evening, in situations like this, where there’s big families, of course we’re challenged to find accommodation that’s big enough to accommodate them. But we work and will continue to work to do that.”
Byrne: “So it would be helpful if they didn’t arrive late in the evening?”
Gleeson: “Well of course it would be. I mean it would be much better if people came earlier in the evening to us – that we could deal with it in that – but we don’t know what’s happening in people’s lives, we don’t know why they’re in a crisis situation late in the evening. But what we do know is that we have a system in place to deal with them, to flag it and to try and find appropriate accommodation for them….”
Listen back in full here
Earlier: Gut Punch
Previously: ‘Years Of Bad Behaviour’
Just to clarify Eileen Gleesons comment regarding accommodation being refused last night. Margaret was offered a place late last night in Meath however they could only accommodate 5 of her children. She refused as she obviously wasn’t going to leave 2 children behind! #spin
— ICHHDUBLIN (@ICHHDUBLIN) August 9, 2018
From top: Margaret Cash and her partner John McCarthy and their children in 2015 [pic via Tallaght Echo]; Margaret, who slept in Tallaght Garda station with six of her children, last night.
— Henry McKean (@HenryMcKean) August 9, 2018
Thanks Maurice at the Tallaght Echo