New winter strategy launched in Dublin to create over 300 extra beds for the homeless

 More than 300 extra emergency beds will open across Dublin in the coming weeks to cater for homeless people over Christmas and New Year, according to the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).

The DRHE announced measure in partnership with a range of charities as the DRHE activated its Cold Weather Strategy for 2018. According to the report, these additional permanent beds will be made available for singles and couples on a phased basis, the majority of which will be in use by the end of December 2018.

Advertisement

This will see 2,480 beds provided for homeless adults from now until March.

203 of the new beds will be permanent, with 130 “temporary contingency beds” opening for the duration of the initiative and a further 130 temporary contingency beds will also come into use across a range of existing services for the duration of the cold weather period.

The 130 temporary beds will open in Dublin 7 and 8, operated by the Peter McVerry Trust.

The DRHE said it would operate its winter services on a twofold basis: by expanding accommodation to meet demand, and to provide a targeted response by engaging with long-term rough sleepers and those not in regular contact with its services.

Related: I spent a month looking for a flat in Dublin, the desolation and despair creeps up on you

During the cold weather period, the report also said that the Housing First Intake Team, will operate from 7.00am – 1.00am every day. The Intake Team will increase their staffing for the cold weather period, to enable broader engagement with persons sleeping rough across the Dublin Region.

In addition, they said a contingency emergency response is already in place for any family who may be at risk of sleeping rough at night and arrangements are in place between the DRHE, the Gardaí, Housing First, Central Placement Service and the HSE with a view to improving outcomes for people that may be sleeping rough.

However, at the launch of their annual appeal, the Society of St Vincent de Paul revealed that despite recent improvements in the Department of Housing’s monthly homeless figures, they are still receiving over 1,000 calls a day from individuals to its offices around the country.

President Kieran Stafford said that over 16% of Ireland’s population was still living in poverty, and urged anyone who was struggling to contact them for help.

“Many of the families we visit will struggle to make ends meet this Christmas and some will consider borrowing money to meet the extra expenses they face at this time of year,” he said. “We would urge anyone who is struggling, particularly with the cost of education, fuel and food to come to SVP for help.”

The image newsletter