Charity criticises support services after deaths of four homeless people

Credit: RTE

The lack of support services in privately run hostels has been criticised following the recent deaths of four people who were homeless.

A man was found dead in the Phoenix Park on Tuesday, while two more people died in hostels and a fourth died in hospital all within the past nine days, according to Independent councillor Anthony Flynn.

Mr Flynn, who is also a founder member of the charity Inner City Helping Homeless, said an increasing amount of emergency accommodation is being left to private operators, some of whom operate on a night-by-night basis.

“The issue is a lack of wraparound services and mental health support,” he said.

Estimated figures released by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive last month showed that 222 homeless people died over the previous four years, though the annual numbers had fallen by almost 50% during the period.

A previous official study found that the mortality rate among homeless people can be up to ten times that of the general population.

Overall, 81% of homeless deaths occurred either in hospital or in emergency accommodation with drugs or alcohol being implicated in 57% of fatalities.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive said this evening it was informed of three deaths among those in homeless services during the month of February.

In a statement It said wraparound services are provided in all charity-operated facilities while private facilities get visiting supports with both types of accommodation subject to an inspection system.

The statement adds that deaths of homeless people do occur in emergency accommodation, hospitals and hospices with causes including long term illness and drug and alcohol related issues.

But the DHRE said provisional figures show a “significant” reduction in homeless deaths last year.

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Charity criticises support services after deaths of four homeless people