OFFICIAL COUNT ON ROUGH SLEEPING IN THE DUBLIN REGION

A considerable number of media questions have been raised about the number of people rough sleeping in the Dublin region. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) will confirm the detail from the official winter count next week on Thursday, December 10th 2015. Dublin’s 2015 winter rough sleeper count was conducted successfully across the region beginning on the night of 30th November and finishing at 6.00am on 1st December 2015.

The DRHE conducts an official count on the number of individuals sleeping rough across the Dublin Region on a single night in April and November, and has done so each year since 2007. Each count follows the same methodology to identify the number of persons sleeping rough in the region. The methodology and procedure for the count is agreed by the Dublin Joint Homeless Consultative Forum and Statutory Management Group who are also involved in the responsible for the adoption of the finalised data after each count is concluded (more details below).

This count was coordinated by the DRHE and involved the participation of a combination of volunteers and full time employees of statutory and voluntary homeless service providers in Dublin. Participants included staff of Dublin’s Emergency Accommodation providers, Homeless Action Teams, Housing First and Outreach Services and the HSE specialist health services for homeless persons.

Over 140 personnel were engaged in traversing pre-identified routes across the city and county environs to enumerate and confirm the extent of actual persons bedded down and sleeping rough, as well as gathering evidence of rough sleeping and engaging with persons out-of-home who otherwise sleep rough.

The methodology used by the count is inclusive of a range of different situations that comprise a rough-sleeping event or experience and this ensures the count yields as much information as possible on the extent of rough sleeping. This includes data on the age, gender, nationality and  personal identity of persons discovered sleeping rough as well as additional information on premises found to be in use as temporary shelters and squats.

The collation and verification of the data is now underway (December 2nd 2015). This requires the DRHE cross-check the data records of the PASS client management system and also meets formally with all relevant service providers across the region to cross-reference information on all persons included in the count. It is important that DRHE emphasises the need for a robust verification process so as to ensure the integrity of the count as one specific measure of the prevalence of rough sleeping in the region. For clarity, it is not possible to undertake the level of rigour required in a matter of days or hours.  The priority focus at this stage is to identify and target persons discovered sleeping rough for a dedicated service response from Housing First/ Outreach, Emergency Accommodation and Health services.

The full and finalised details of the count, including specified service responses, will be presented to the Dublin Joint Homeless Consultative Forum meeting on December 10th for consideration and adoption. The details will be disseminated publicly immediately thereafter.

Explanatory note on the Rough Sleeper Count methodology:

  1. Each count follows the same methodology to identify the number of persons sleeping rough in the region. This allows for trends to be identified by allowing for data from each count to be compared and contrasted with previous counts.
  2. The count provides a snap-shot of the number of people sleeping rough at a specific point in time. The enumeration period for each count occurs between 1:30AM and 4:00AM. This is a time of day when emergency accommodation and related services are unavailable and when individuals who intend to sleep rough will be bedded down.
  3. On the morning following the enumeration period, data is also gathered from individuals who present to the earliest morning breakfast service in the city centre opening at 0700. This data is used to supplement missing information on individuals who may have been asleep when the count took place on the night prior.
  4. Additional information on individuals discovered is gathered using the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). This includes the following information: whether or not they are registered on the PASS system; whether or not they have a support plan in place; the number of times they have accessed emergency accommodation; the number of contacts they have had with the Housing First/ Outreach teams; the number of sleeping bags they have booked; and, the length of time since they first accessed homeless accommodation. 
  5. Following the count all of the information gathered is compiled into a single spreadsheet and cross checked with information stored on PASS.  This information is then examined at a meeting attended by representatives from the Housing First Intake Team, Dublin Region Homeless Executive, MQI and the other Dublin local authorities. At this meeting each piece of information is examined and duplicates are removed. Once this information has been reconciled, the data is inputted into a report and presented to the Dublin Joint Homeless Consultative Committee for its consideration and adoption.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive works as a shared service on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, with Dublin City Council as the lead. It works collaboratively with statutory and state funded voluntary services to respond to homelessness.

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Lisa Kelleher
Head of Communications and Training
Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Dublin City Council

Feedback