€10m allocation not enough for homeless crisis

The homeless crisis is going to get worse despite a €10m budget allocation, while projects working with drug users had their funding "chiselled away" during the consecutive austerity budgets.

€10m allocation not enough for homeless crisis

The comments were made at the unveiling yesterday of stain-glass panels at the offices of an arts-based drug recovery project in Dublin.

The glass was designed and crafted by people attending RADE (Recovery through art, drama and education) under the guidance of artist Peter Young.

Unveiling the artwork, Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke said projects like RADE should be “at the main table” when decisions are made by government whether or not to fund drug or homeless programmes.

“I welcome the €10m announced in the budget regarding homelessness, but we don’t know how it is going to be spent.”

He said when he went on a “homeless run” the previous night there were 160 people on the streets.

VISIT OUR DEDICATED BUDGET 2015 SECTION section.

He tried to get a woman with four children a place in a B&B, without success, and the woman was told to present herself at a Garda station. He had a similar issue yesterday morning.

“This is totally unacceptable,” he said. “The homeless situation is getting worse, make no mistake about it, and it ain’t going to get better.”

Cllr Burke said while €10m would be spent, €5m went annually paying B&Bs and hotels to provide emergency accommodation.

Cllr Burke said the State was making “millionaires out of them” while, at the same time, landlords were refusing to take rent allowance.

He praised the participants and staff on the stain glass and the other artwork at their offices on Cathedral View Court, near St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Nine current clients and seven former clients worked on the stain glass project, many of whom attended the unveiling.

Project director Michael Egan said it was “a great moment” for the participants and RADE, which is 10 years old this year.

Its funding had been “chiselled away” over recent years and an award-winning dance show, Source, they produced this year had only went ahead after Dublin Simon stepped in with funds, he said.

Another project, a play based on the 1913 Lockout, A Hundred Years Ago, was highly praised in the Dáil by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton. But he said they constantly struggled to attract funding, including support from the Arts Council.

Mr Egan said many of their clients had recently been hired by hit TV series Love/Hate, demonstrating the talent they have.

- rade.ie/01-4548733

VISIT OUR DEDICATED BUDGET 2015 SECTION section.

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