Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald
“I want to raise the issue of homelessness with you, Tánaiste, and I want to do so in telling you about Áine. She’s an 18-year-old young woman and on Tuesday of this week, she presented as homeless to her local council, along with her partner and their four-month infant daughter.”
“The council refused to accept that she was genuinely in need of emergency accommodation and she was turned away. At 4.30pm that afternoon she rang the freephone number but no emergency accommodation was available. At 9pm that night she again to be told that there was still no emergency accommodation.”
“Eventually, at 12.30am, standing outside Heuston Station, shivering and holding her infant child, she was collected by the Rough Sleepers Team and brought to a hostel.”
“Now Áine, Tanaiste, is just one of 10 families turned away from local authorities on that day, on Tuesday, only later to be accommodated throughout the Rough Sleepers Team. The last of the families wasn’t accommodate until 1.30am in the morning.”
“Yesterday, Áine returned to her local council only to be turned away again. She was eventually accommodated by the freephone at 8pm in the night and, as we speak Tanaiste, this young woman is yet again on her way back to her local authority not knowing where she and her family will sleep tonight.”
“And the reason why families are being turned away from the local authorities is because there isn’t enough emergency accommodation and staff in local authorities are being asked to make really an impossible choice between families – between those who will have a bed and those who are sent back out onto the street.”
“Tanaiste, I could read out the statistics and you will know homelessness is out of control, you will know that on the watch of your Government, homelessness has increased by 86% in one single year…”
Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald speaking during Leaders’ Questions, recieved by Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald this afternoon.
Brú Aimsir Hostel
You may recall how Brú Aimsir Hostel opened at the Digital Hub on Thomas Street, Dublin 8 last year – as part of Dublin City Council’s Cold Weather Initiative.
Last month, the 100-bed facility was to close down – prompting residents of Brú to hold protests against the closure.
Further to this…
Dublin City Council writes:
[Brú] was due to close at the end of March but its closure was deferred until May 31, due to cold weather in March and April. In anticipation of a closure by May 31, an orderly wind down of the facility was commenced and the number using the facility on a nightly basis was reduced to around 40.
However, in light of the continuing increase in the numbers sleeping rough in the Dublin region and following the intervention of the Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, agreement has now been reached to extend the use of Brú Aimsir and to operate it at full capacity.
Previously: Meanwhile, At Brú