A whistleblower in the social services has claimed that homeless figures in Dublin are being deliberately under-reported, according to a report seen by the Irish Examiner.
The former employee of Crosscare, the social services agency for the Dublin archdiocese, has compiled a report that suggests the actual level of homelessness may be more than 50% greater than the official figures.
Joe O’Brien, who last year left his position as policy officer at Crosscare, encountered major resistance when he attempted to investigate shortcomings in the system of computing the number of homeless.
He discovered that large numbers of non-nationals who were not being processed by the main office for the homeless in Dublin — instead being passed along to a unit in the Department of Social Protection — were unlikely to have been categorised as homeless.
In 2013, the Homeless Executive stated that 4,613 people used emergency accommodation in the city, yet this figure did not include a further 2,756 non-nationals who were referred on to the Government unit.
The Irish Examiner submitted questions to the Homeless Executive on how the figures are computed but the only reply was a general statement on the matter.
Both the Homeless Executive and Crosscare have claimed that Mr O’Brien’s report is “unreliable”, although neither body indicated what facts within it are deemed unreliable.
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