The Best We Can Do


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Screenshots from RTÉ’s Nine News last night showing emergency accommodation for 20 homeless people being set up in the Civil Defence headquarters at the Esplanade, Wolfe Tone Quay, Dublin 7.

Cathal Morgan, the director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, told RTÉ:

“Tomorrow [Friday, December 12], our colleagues in the Civil Defence will be opening up 20 beds. That means 70 beds out of the 260 promised will be in place. By the 23rd of December, we will have those 260 beds in place.”

According to a report on the Civil Defence website, the beds will “be made available only by reference from the [Dublin] City Council’s freephone helpline service” and they’ll be in operation until March 2015.

Last week – after the Government announced it would provide extra beds – homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry told RTÉ News:

“I would have a question about the quality of the beds. Currently much of the emergency accommodation is dormitory style and if the new 200 beds are going to continue to be dormitory style then you’re going to have a lot of homeless people who will just refuse to go into them because they feel they are too dangerous and they will continue to sleep on the streets.”

Fr McVerry also said he hoped rough sleepers would be given a bed for a week or a month at a time, instead of the present situation whereby homeless people have to ring a freephone number every evening to see if there is a bed available.

There you go now.

Watch last night’s RTÉ report in full here.

Taoiseach and mayor meet homeless people in Dublin (December 5, 2014, RTÉ)

Previously: Help Is On Its Way

The Bed Summit

36 thoughts on “The Best We Can Do

  1. ahjayzis

    Christ, no expense spared obviously.

    What part do they not understand in the fact that people feel safer sleeping in a doorway than in a room with 20 strangers?

    1. scottser

      that’s quite a generalisation there ahjayzis. while some people prefer to sleep out and not engage with homeless supports i’m sure they’ll fill those 20 beds with folks who are generally grateful enough not to have to sleep out for a night or two before proper supported accommodations come on stream next week. it’s when this type of accommodation gets turned into a longer-term ‘solution’ that you run into all sorts of problems.

      oh and if you’re suggesting that the agencies who provide sheltered accommodation for homeless persons don’t understand the complexities of rough sleeping then you’re just plain wrong.

  2. One Dub

    …until March…
    -Because by then it’ll be gone off the public radar.
    Until then this will serve as a soundbite for Enda & Crew to spout whenever anyone has the audacity to ask about Homelessness.
    (Which they are totally addressing in a positive way., No, really!
    C’mon, give them a break…it’s not like homeless people bother voting.
    Oh, okay…We might do something for them if an election is looming, but it gets sunny in March.
    -On the 1st March to be precise.
    -Shut up. We’re great.)

    The sooner we get these charlatans out of office the better.

  3. Sancho

    I think it’s quite clear that Mr. McVerry (and the posters here) didn’t watch the RTE news. Because if they had they would know that the problem has been solved.

  4. Dublinentendre

    What they really need to do is leave those steel barriers permanently around the Dail so those pesky homeless won’t keep dying nearby…

    1. Just sayin'

      Drug addicts who refuse accommodation or requests to live with their family rarely come to a good end.

  5. Rose

    No privacy, no storage, no proper beds, no mattress….
    Why couldn’t they design something a bit more domestic and homely. It wouldn’t take much. It looks more like a military camp and so cramped. Staff office is probably much bigger

    1. Joe

      You did read that it is being set up by the Civil Defence didn’t you. They are Ireland’s emergency beds for use in a huge disaster. I’ve slept in worse shared accommodation over the years. Quit ur moaning. Great work by the Civil Defence folk.

    2. Just sayin'

      “It looks more like a military camp…”

      So, fine for the army, but just not good enough for our homeless?!

      1. Stephanenny

        Military camps are set up in the field in conflict zones with very limited resources with ease of transit a major priority – you’d think we could do a bit better in a building in the heart of our capital city.

  6. Grouse

    Could they put a Garda sitting in there for the night? Or is there some other measure that would make this feel more safe than a doorway?

  7. Soundings

    Any news on how Jonathan Corrie died? I hope I’m wrong and I know he has a family and was loved, but I somehow doubt he died from hypothermia or the lack of an army cot or another body sleeping less than a metre away from you.

  8. GreyGremlin

    I spent some time volunteering in the same shelter last year. Ill tell you that the volunteers will be sleeping on the exact same camp beds in the same style of dormitory. The Civil Defence has to make do with very limited resources. The organisation would be more than happy to provide higher quality beds if more funding was made available by the government. The organization will have to make do with the very limited resources it has until that happens. There are no single rooms where this shelter is being run. You are talking about an old military building that hasn’t seen structural investment in maybe five decades. Disappointing that people were not pressing for more money to be put into the auxiliary emergency service during the boom.

    The shifts for the volunteers are 12 hours and most get up and go straight to their day jobs the next day. It will be manned throughout Christmas and well into the new year. There will be professional supervision of the shelter at all times. Ill just say that the supervisors are very well used to dealing with trouble in their past careers. We always welcome more volunteers. If you can’t do that then maybe you can provide some resources.

    1. Spartacus

      Well said. My sister previously worked with CD as a volunteer and I’ve seen how hard the rank and file work in that organisation. Invisible and unsung heroes, most of them.

      However, I don’t think any of the posters above were having a pop at CD, in all fairness.

      1. GreyGremlin

        Nah not having a go at posters to be honest. Just annoying when you have ministers announcing this and that but in reality the funding doesn’t seem to have changed significantly. This shelter was open last year (although it is open a bit earlier this year) but the crisis has still deepened since. Lots more needs to be done.

  9. pissedasanewt

    Got stuck in Beauvais airport once and for those who didn’t want to trek back to paris they brought out beds and a blanket with no dividers and pitched them out in the arrivals. Delighted to have it and not be on the floor.

    Is you are homeless and don’t feel safe in a hostel. Do you throw the trouble makes out in the street or have a hostel just for trouble makers?

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