Christy Burke, chair of Inner City Helping Homeless, wants the Dáil to reconvene now to resolve what he sees as a homelessness crisis happening this summer in Dublin. Over the last year, homelessness in Dublin has increased more than 100%. According to the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, there were 531 families in emergency accommodation as of June 2015, over double last year’s figure of 264. With the increase in homelessness, the need for more public funds to help address this is growing.
Alan Kelly, Environment Minister, is being criticized for currently being on holiday while not having done enough to fix this pressing issue. According to Burke, “there is an 18 million Euro shortfall from the Department of the Environment to homeless services…,” and with the homeless population increasing so much, they need the funds now. Kelly’s spokespeople say that he’s told other people to come up with a plan, and just basically that they’re working on it. So, we’ll see.
While we wait for significant government intervention to happen, what can you do to help? Report those “sleeping rough,” or out in a public area (on benches, in a subway, on the street, etc.) to the DRHE here, and they will attempt to contact and house that person. Or volunteer/donate to Dublin Simon, a charity that works toward housing the homeless and enabling them to transition to independent living. Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep.