Focus Ireland Welcomes DRHE Announcing 11 Units of Contingency Accommodation Now In Place to Ensure No Family is Without a Bed
Focus Ireland has today welcomed the positive announcement by Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) that an additional 11 units of accommodation are now in place to help ensure no family who are homeless is left without a bed for the night.
The announcement came after detailed discussions between Focus Ireland, the DRHE, TUSLA and the Department of Housing. Focus Ireland initiated the talks as our services faced a sudden increase in the number of families at risk due to the reduced availability of commercial hotel rooms as the annual tourist season kicks in. Our services are working hard on the frontline supporting these families. Staff are also working very closely with Advocacy and the Executive to help advance long-term solutions to this specific crisis situation where some families have no option but to go to a Garda station or find somewhere to sleep out.
The supply of hotel rooms for use as emergency accommodation has been severely diminished recently due to high demand for bookings due to tourism and high profile events. This week alone Dublin played host to an Ed Sheeran last night, with two more to follow on Friday and Saturday along with the Rolling Stones at Croke Park tonight. If a hotel room cannot be secured by late in the evening families who are homeless are directed to go to the local Garda station as a place of safety.
However, now that the 11 emergency beds are in place a family who is in this situation will be able to access these contingency rooms.
Focus Ireland also responded to the statement by the Garda Representative Association that Garda Stations are ‘not a suitable place for homeless families’.
Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said “It is absolutely the case that Garda stations are not a suitable place for families to sleep, but it needs to be understood that families are only advised to go to the Garda station when every other option of finding emergency shelter for them has been exhausted. At that point the family is faced with spending the night in a cafe or a car.”
He added: “The Garda station is the only place of safety which the state provides which is open at the time of night. Government ministers have repeatedly issued assurances that no family with children would left without shelter at night. The various state agencies involved need to work together to deliver this increasingly challenging requirement. The additional accommodation units and other measures agreed are an important step in the right direction. We’ll continue working in partnership to see what more can and needs to be done.”