Tag Archives: Homelessness

Last weekend’s Sunday Business Post

Mark Hilliard, in The Irish Times, reports:

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan will face a vote calling for his resignation following incendiary remarks he made on homelessness in the capital.

A motion seeking support among city councillors will be raised at its meeting next month.

It follows an interview Mr Keegan gave to the Sunday Business Post in which he suggested homeless people may be reluctant to leave services in Dublin because these services are of high quality and are an “attractive” option.

…Workers Party councillor Éilis Ryan, who filed the motion, said she and others had called for his resignation and she has “put those calls on a formal basis”.

“Keegan’s claim that Dublin’s homeless services are ‘attracting’ people into homelessness has shored up unfounded rumours that homeless families are lazy, greedy or both,” she said in a statement.

Owen Keegan faces vote calling for him to resign (Mark Hilliard, The Irish Times)

City Council chief: good homeless services in Dublin create demand for them (Owen Keegan, Roisin Burke, Sunday Business Post, February 17, 2019)

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald recalled the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy saying yesterday that, because of the “cold snap” and the current cold weather initiative being in place, there’s an emergency bed available for everyone who needs one.

She then went on to say Inner City Helping Homeless outreach volunteers found there were no beds available for 86 homeless people in Dublin last night at 11.30pm and they subsequently slept rough.

She added:

“Not alone that but people have contacted my office this morning say that those who were in hostels last night were turfed out first thing this morning, into the cold, and are now sitting around, in tents, near Heuston Station.”

Mr Murphy responded:

I think we do have to be careful, addressing this situation at the moment with the cold weather initiative, that is in place, that we make sure that the information that we are getting is accurate.

“We work with a number of NGO partner organisations to make sure that in these types of events, when there is severe cold weather, that outreach group teams from all of the organisations are out and working with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to get people into safe, secure accommodation.

“Over the course of the last number of months, we’ve been putting in place an additional 200 permanent new beds into the system, plus 150 emergency beds as well.

“And the outreach teams are out to get people into accommodation and no one will be turned away.

“And also when we have the cold weather initiative in place, people aren’t just being turfed out onto the street. We have to be mindful of the fact thatit’s a very cold period and we have to make sure that people are being protected in that period and we do that with our partner organisations in the NGO sectors. The cold weather initiative will remain in place as we go through this cold snap…”

Anyone?

Watch Dáil proceedings live here

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:

Meanwhile…

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.”

Anyone?

Watch back in full here

UPDATE:

Yikes.

In fairness.

Earlier: Modern Living

Previously: “I’m Aware Of The Fact We’re Above 10,0000”

From top: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe; Latest family homless figures

Yesterday evening.

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.

In September, there were 5,869 adults, 1,753 families and 3,829 children – a total of 9,698 individuals.

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.

This morning.

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”.

He added:

“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

Rollingnews

Principal Mary Mother of Hope Senior School in Littlepace, Dublin 15, Enda McGorman

This morning.

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

Pic: Vimeo

Tonight.

At 8pm.

On Twitter.

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.

This was an increase of 171 individuals – 35 adults and 136 children.

Meanwhile…

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.

More here

Last night.

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.