Homelessness charity, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), has said its teams saw the highest number of rough sleepers on Dublin’s streets last night amid concerns they cannot access beds because of a lack of social distancing.
ICHH said 105 people were helped by their teams and “once again the sense of uncertainty among homeless people is palpable”.
They said that a major problem for the homeless is the lack of basic cleaning facilities to shower and keep up hand hygiene as per HSE guidelines.
There are fewer toilet facilities for them to use to keep clean since the closure of the day services, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and libraries due to the pandemic.
ICHH also said its teams have many times in the last two weeks been unable to get a bed for a user through the freephone system.
They said: “This makes no sense when we have over 1,000 extra beds made available through Covid-19.
“670 of these are single en suite units sourced via hotels, Airbnb short term lets and others and the question needs to be asked as to how many of these are currently occupied and are some being paid for but sitting empty while people on the street can’t access a bed for the night.”
Speaking this morning ICHH CEO Anthony Flynn reiterated the higher numbers of people who are rough sleeping.
He said: “We have heard of increased numbers in terms of bed availability but accessing those beds and new registrations are a huge issue and many of those who are rough sleeping are doing so because of lack of social distancing within homeless services facilities.
“We must now test everyone that is being accommodated in homeless emergency accommodations across the country alongside on site staff.”