Homeless families in Dublin forced to go to Garda stations outside office hours to avail of services

Homeless families in Dublin forced to go to Garda stations outside office hours to avail of services
Anthony Flynn.

It has emerged that families who present as homeless, outside office hours, have been told by Dublin City Council to register at a Garda station before they can avail of services.

The charity Inner City Helping Homeless said many families are afraid to go to the Gardaí because it could mean Tusla will be notified.

ICHH is calling for the recall of out-of-hours teams who can deal with families face-to-face.

Anthony Flynn, the charity's CEO, said: "What we're doing is, we're not supporting the families in the way that we should, Garda stations are for criminals, they are not for families, not for children they are for people who have committed a crime and so on.

"What we need to do is to put the teams back in place that were in place recently, this is the way to reduce the number of presentation in the evening or late at night, and again I think it's applied to keep the numbers down."

Previously a team from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive was on call to help such families, face-to-face.

However, that has now been reduced to a phone helpline.

Mr Flynn said: "So we have got families that do present after hours, we have got evictions happening in the evening time where people are asked to leave premises where they may have got evictions notices, so there are situations where families present as homeless late at night or in the evening.

"Now, we haven't got a team that is there to deal with that family, we've got a phone number, we haven't got face-to-face contact and people are being sent to Garda stations instead of actually dealing with somebody on the ground at night-time when they are in distress."

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