Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has stated that the loss of a South Dublin County Council Homeless Outreach Office over the last couple of months is having a huge negative impact on homeless and rough sleepers. The Sinn Féin TD said the delay in filling the vacant job means that a gap has opened in supports, with access to available beds in the Dublin area becoming more difficult for this group of people.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“It was already hard to place single homeless males and females in accommodation, but the loss of this outreach worker is putting an increased strain on the homeless system in South Dublin.

“The only way for homeless and rough sleepers to access beds is through a free phone number which is not accessible to some clients as they don’t have credit, access to phones, or phone charging facilities once services close, which is usually after 4pm and when the free phone service opens.

“These are vulnerable people with diverse needs that are living chaotic lifestyles and need additional supports. We know from official figures that numbers of homeless people trying to access beds is increasing.

“A month ago South Dublin County Council said they were going through their standard HR practice to appoint a person into this permanent role and they were looking at internal solutions to have someone in place on a temporary basis. A month later and this hasn’t happened.

“I am calling on South Dublin County Council to show some greater concern and immediacy by filling this gap in its homeless service. Further delays mean that the increasing amount of homeless people in South Dublin are being left without a bed or cover during the cold and extremely wet weather we are experiencing.”