Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) today (November 30th) released detail on new facilities to meet demand for homeless emergency accommodation and to tackle rough sleeping.
Emergency accommodation provision for adults in Dublin is being expanded by a minimum of 230 quality bed spaces from November 28th and in full by December 9th 2016.
This will increase the current bed-space capacity for all forms of emergency accommodation in Dublin from 4,852 (2,844 adults and 2,008 dependents) at November 22nd to 5,082 by December 9th 2016.
Within the context of increased demand for access to emergency accommodation the expansion of provision by 230 additional bed spaces is required in order to ensure no person is forced to sleep rough due to inadequate provision.
The 230 bed spaces are distributed across four new emergency accommodation facilities with each having a dedicated NGO service provider attached to it (see below). Each of the NGOs has extensive experience in the delivery of services to persons who are homeless and have staff with the required skills and competencies. Each is established under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the DRHE.
Once a person has been assessed as homeless by the relevant Dublin local authority, they will be placed into a bed space via the Dublin Region Central Placement Service and Freephone Service. Access to each facility will be via a scheduled booking time between the hours of 1830 and 2100 each evening. This protocol should ensure immediate access to emergency accommodation and avert the need for any unnecessary queuing outside facilities.
Each person will be able to get a meal in the evening and at breakfast, laundry and bathroom facilities. Key working support services will be provided on-site to engage with persons and to ensure targeted responses to any acute support needs including medical needs. In-reach services from General Practitioners and Public Health Nurses, alongside counsellor services will be provided by the HSE-funded SafetyNet Primary Care team. A programme of recreational activities and activation will be developed and run by each NGO provider.
DRHE also confirmed today that the official winter (November 2016) count on rough sleeping identified a minimum of 142 persons sleeping rough across the Dublin region on the night of November 22ndand into the morning of 23rd November.
Of the 142 persons discovered sleeping rough:
Of the 142 persons discovered by the winter count, 65 persons have previously accessed homeless emergency accommodation services and 16 persons have not accessed such services. This detail is unknown for 61 persons who were bedded down and asleep during the count.
The Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) Night Café continues to provide a service for persons who do not access emergency accommodation and works to support them into accommodation and other support services. On the night of the winter count 2016, 77 persons accessed this facility.
Commenting on this winter’s count, a spokesperson added:
“We have developed a tried and tested methodology for the rough sleeping count. It has delivered consecutive rough sleeper counts each spring and winter since 2007. At the heart of the process are the 50 separate teams that deploy across set geographic areas of the city and county where rough sleeping is known to occur (as well as areas where no previous record exits). The teams enumerate the details of all persons discovered sleeping rough at a time when no emergency accommodation provision is otherwise open for presentation. The teams also meet with the OPW’s Park Ranger Service in the Phoenix Park and St Stephen’s Green in order to ensure that persons rough sleeping in these areas are counted”
“Given that in Dublin there are at least 142 persons sleeping rough tonight, the addition of 230 new bed spaces alongside the expansion of Dublin’s Housing First Service ensures we can, and will, provide for everyone engaging in rough sleeping while allowing for additional overall capacity.”
Core responses to persons who are rough sleeping
The four Dublin Local Authorities fund Dublin’s Housing First Service (operated by PMVT and Focus Ireland) to provide two teams that assertively engage with persons who are currently rough sleeping or who have had an extensive experience of rough sleeping across the Dublin region. Out-of-hours 086 8139015
Central Placement Service FREEPHONE (Dublin City Council Homeless Services)
The Central Placement Service is available during the day in Parkgate Hall, 6-9 Conyngham Road, Dublin 8 for individuals and families presenting as homeless in the Dublin City Council area. In addition, assessment and placement services are in place in the housing departments of South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
For access to emergency accommodation contact FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 from 2pm, this includes an out-of-hours service until 1am (including weekends)
The state-funded Night Café is open from 11pm to 7.30am and provides a range of services to people who are experiencing homelessness and drug use including.
This service is operated through inward referral from the Central Placement Service FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 and Housing First Intake Service Team (out-of-hours 086 8139015)