Early this morning, just after midnight.
At a homeless hostel in Dublin.
Lee, who is currently homeless, tweetz:
“I got a ‘bed’ in the end tonight and as I have been given a warning for posting on Twitter already I wont be mentioning names of hostels as I suspect I’m barred for posting about another one. A few pillow donations wouldnt go a miss. Bad enough like 20 in one room on the floors.”
And, Lee adds:
And we are up at 6.15am so 7am untill 11pm are long days to be walking the streets what do people think that’s going to do to someones health and mental health. Theres no hope the sense of despair is upsetting
— Lee (@HomesForAll2019) January 8, 2019
Conor Skehan: Having homelessness is normal pic.twitter.com/xgIHBCCDI9
— RTÉ ClaireByrneLive (@ClaireByrneLive) January 7, 2019
On RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live last night.
Conor Skehan, the former chairman of the Housing Agency, was asked if he has an “issue” with the characterisation of the present homeless situation in Ireland as a “crisis”.
[The most recent figures from the Department of Housing show there were a record 9,968 people using emergency accommodation in Ireland in the final week of November]
Mr Skehan said:
“Housing is always going to be one of society’s pinch points and we can continue to allow ourselves, and the media, to be goaded into a situation of recognising any human need that’s unmet as a crisis.
“I’ve been trying for years to try to get them [the Government] to recognise and normalise the situation and getting dogs’ abuse for doing so.
“….we continuously allow ourselves to be goaded by people involved in advocacy which many others feel to be called ‘lobbying’ into trying to ignore the fact that we have equivalent levels of homelessness which is an incredible human tragedy to every other major country in Europe.”
Asked if that makes it right and if it’s normal to not have a place to live, Mr Skehan said:
“It’s normal. It’s normal. It’s normal in the sense that human beings go through many different issues and emotional upheavals in their lives but there are particular ones that are equivalent of, we just talked about social media a minute ago – click bait – the ultimate emotional click bait that can be stimulated in another human being to say that somebody is without shelter.
“And it makes us vulnerable to emotional manipulation by that click bait, repeatedly pressing that point.”
“And you can open up a career for yourself in politics, you can open up a career for yourself in advocacy by pressing this button over and over again.”
Mr Skehan went on to claim the Government gives €152million a year to charities involved in homelessness. He said:
“The measure of a society is not that homelessness does not happen, the measure of the quality of the society we live in, is the speed with which we recognise, identify and rectify that situation. That’s the measure.
“But by trying to distort ourselves that we are, some how or other, as a Government, not doing anything about this or not doing enough about it, or not doing as much as can be done – that’s what’s causing resources to go to the wrong place.
“That’s what’s causing us to have a country that spends €152million of your money, every year, on charities that deal with homelessness. €152million that could be spent on those people themselves. €152million of your money that’s being spent on their pension schemes, and their premises.
“Have you seen the size of the main charity dealing with, Focus’s office building, up the top of Christchurch, have you seen the size? Their four-storey building?
“…Go and have a look, all of you. Go and have a look and then be outraged. Don’t be outraged with me.”
Watch back in full here
Homeless adults in Dublin 5129 number in Helsinki (if counted the way we do) less than 100. Number of families homeless in Ireland in 2014 344 in 2018 number 1728 (if we were still counting in the same way as we did in 2014 well over 2000) Nothing normal about homelessness. https://t.co/SrPdVhk9Sm
— Wayne Stanley (@drurbino) January 8, 2019