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27th Sep 2018

“Figures don’t represent full picture of the homeless crisis,” national homeless charity claims

Kate Demolder

Homeless figures Dublin

The most recent rough sleeper count in Dublin showed 110 rough sleepers.

Merchants Quay Ireland, the national homeless and drugs charity, has today said that while the latest homeless figures show a slight decrease in the number of people homeless, they do not, however, represent a full picture of the homeless crisis.

The homeless figures for August showed 5,834 adults and 3,693 dependents were in emergency accommodation, a total of 9,527.

The most recent rough sleeper count in Dublin showed 110 rough sleepers, giving a total of 9,637.

“Unfortunately, the figures released today by the Department of Housing do not provide a full picture of homelessness, as the figures do not include the 110 people who are rough sleeping on our streets night after night,” Tony Geoghegan, co-founder of Merchants Quay Ireland said on Thursday, speaking on the latest homeless statistics.

“There are also a number of other vulnerable groups not included in the figures, such as women and children in domestic violence shelters, people in direct provision and others who are also homeless.

“The re-categorisation of the homeless figures and the exclusion of some homeless people from the figures also show that there is now a real lack of credible and reliable data. This means the capacity of organisations and individuals involved in addressing the crisis is greatly diminished.

“We welcome the decrease in the overall number of people homeless; however we must not lose sight of the fact that we still have 9,527 people in emergency accommodation with others still sleeping in laneways and doorways on our streets every night.

“With the current re-categorisation of homeless statistics, we run the very real risk of losing sight of the real human trauma behind the figures and of homelessness becoming almost an acceptable social norm.

“The homeless crisis is not unsolvable, but ultimately the solution requires the provision of sufficient social and affordable housing.

“The government has a real moral test to hold to its commitment to deliver the required level of housing needed, while also focusing on the immediate needs of the thousands of men, women and children still caught in homelessness today.”