Homeless Summit to focus on short term measures to ease crisis

The emergency summit to be held today on the homelessness crisis is likely to focus on short-term measures that can be implemented quickly, the Department of the Environment has said.

Homeless Summit to focus on short term measures to ease crisis

The event was announced two days ago by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly in the aftermath of the tragic death of Kilkenny man Jonathan Corrie, whose body was found in a doorway on Molesworth Street in Dublin City Centre on Monday morning.

The event is taking place at the Customs House in Dublin and yesterday a spokesman for the department said the phones

had been “hopping” with requests from people to attend the event, adding that the final list of those attending was still being drawn up.

Mr Kelly and the Minister of State Paudie Coffey will meet two archbishops, including Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, as well as the CEOs of all four Dublin local authorities.

The four mayors of the local authorities will also be present, as well as opposition spokespeople and representative of other government departments, including the Department of Health, the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Children.

Nama will also be present, as will Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and the HSE.

NGOs and the Homeless Oversight Group and Implementation Team will also attend, with invitations issued to Merchants Quay Ireland, Trust Ireland, Barnardos, Focus Ireland, the Simon Communities of Ireland, Dublin Simon, De paul Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust, Threshold, NABCO (National Association of Building Co-operatives), the Irish Council for Social Housing, Crosscare, Sophia Housing, and the Society of St Vincent De Paul. A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said: “The intention is to brainstorm and listen to what the various representatives have to suggest.

A statement on the outcomes of today’s ‘summit’ will be presented to the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy and Public Service Reform on December 8 and reported to the Dáil at next week’s debate.

“The outcome will be a list of actions (short/medium/long) that will help to alleviate the pressures on homelessness in the Dublin region.”

Speaking at Connect Ireland meeting showcasing how the Irish diaspora was helping to bring badly- needed jobs and money back to this country, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the death of Mr Corrie in such tragic circumstances had touched every layer of Irish society.

Mr Kenny said he hoped the homeless man had now found “rest”, and that it was time everyone in Ireland “from one end of the spectrum to another to reach out” to those in need.

Organisations based outside Dublin will also be watching the developments from the summit to see what measures can be applied elsewhere to meet the demands being placed on homeless services.

It emerged this week that rough sleeper numbers in Cork have increased by 500% since 2011.

Many charities and support organisations have demanded the provision of additional funding for an increased number of emergency beds in the capital, which would take more people off the streets — although there have been warnings that additional supports and housing are needed to allow those experiencing homelessness to transfer out of the under-pressure emergency accommodation sector.

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