OFFICIAL FIGURES FROM WINTER 2015 STREET COUNT ON ROUGH SLEEPING IN DUBLIN REGION

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive[1] (DRHE), today, Thursday December 10th released official figures from the Winter (November 2015) count on rough sleeping, which took place across the Dublin region on the night of November 30th into the morning of December 1st 2015.

Cathal Morgan, Director of the DRHE commented on the detail of the count;

‘This Winter’s Rough Sleeping Count in the Dublin region has confirmed 91 persons as rough sleeping. This is a welcome 46% decrease since Winter 2014, when 168 persons were confirmed as rough sleeping

We have been working extremely hard with our NGO and statutory partners to ensure there is suitable and secure emergency accommodation, available for any person that needs it.  Since November 2014, we have increased the level of bed capacity by 71% (an additional 1,569 beds) and contingency plans are in place to make sure it remains the case.

Our state-funded Housing First Service that provides on street outreach confirms that of the known persons (65 persons) identified by the Winter count, at least 30 persons do not access available homeless accommodation. They continue to require daily intensive engagement to help end their rough sleeping.

He continued:

‘ The type of accommodation provided within our current bed spaces is almost completely made up of individual or smaller sharing units.  We are actively working towards eliminating the small percentage of dormitory style accommodation. The HSE and Tusla and other statutory and state-funded services are working with us to ensure that we can provide health and welfare supports on site in each service.

We continue to work closely with Central and Local Government. We are providing as many housing solutions as possible to homeless households,  including; increased local authority allocations to social housing (739 from January to September 2015) , implementation of new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) pilot (71 households), the roll-out of a modular housing programme (500 units across the Dublin region in 2016) and absolute focus on preventing private rental households becoming homeless through the delivery of the Tenancy Protection Service (1,346 tenant families since April 2014).

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.

The Housing First Service have responsibility for engagement and responding to the accommodation and support needs of people sleeping rough in the Dublin region. They are  also the first point of contact for entry and assessment for those interested in referring to Housing First tenancies.

KEY FINDINGS

Download infograph here http://www.homelessdublin.ie/sites/default/files/Winter%20Count%20on%20R...

91 persons are confirmed as rough sleeping in Winter 2015, 46% decrease since Winter 2014.

The Winter count in 2014 identified 168 persons to be sleeping rough.

Of the 65 persons known to services, 94% (61) met on the count are engaging with on street Housing First team

Of these, in excess of 30 individuals are persistent in their rough sleeping do not access available emergency accommodation.

If a member of the public would like to make the Housing First Service aware of a person who may be sleeping rough in the Dublin region, who is in need of assistance, please contact the confidential weblink on http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper

71% increase in bed capacity since November 2014

The four Dublin local authorities in collaboration with state-funded homeless services have put in place an additional 1,569 beds over the 12 month period since November 2014.

To confirm, 3,766 beds were occupied on the night of the Winter count in 2015 (including adults and children) compared to 2,197 beds occupied on the night of the Winter count in 2014.

The  Merchants Quay Ireland Night Café that opened in January 2015 continues in use. On the night of the Winter count 2015, 61 persons accessed this facility. It is important to understand that the Night Café operates as an access point into emergency accommodation for persons who might otherwise be at risk of rough sleeping.

739 local authority allocations of social housing tenancies for homeless households in Dublin region from January to September 2015 

This confirms a significant number of households moving into their own home, however, the exit from homelessness is operating against backdrop of significant step- up in demand for homeless services, with a continuing requirement emergency accommodation

Of the 91 persons sleeping rough:

o   73 were male, 16 were female and 2 were unknown

o   71 were Irish, 6 were non-Irish and 34 were unknown

o   13 were aged 18-30 years,  33 were aged 31-40, 17 were aged 41-50, 5 were aged 51-60, 4 were aged 61+and 19 were unknown

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.

Housing First Service -The team have responsibility for engagement and responding to the accommodation and support needs of people sleeping rough in the Dublin region. They will also be the first point of contact for entry and assessment for those interested in referring to Housing First tenancies

COLD WEATHER INITIATIVE (NOVEMBER 2015 TO April 2016)

The CWI is in place to provide a humanitarian response to persons, who are at risk of rough sleeping, with the aim of preventing fatalities and/or serious harm from cold weather temperatures.

Emergency accommodation is provided by the four Dublin local authorities, with on-site operational management through state-funded services. Since the beginning of November 2015, the following accommodation has been put in place as part of the annual Cold Weather Initiative

100  NEW EMERGENCY BEDS - emergency bed facility for 80 single men and 20 single women in Brú Aimsir, Dublin 8. Dublin City Council is working in partnership with Crosscare homeless services to deliver this important initiative.

75 RING FENCED EMERGENCY BEDS - this includes additional emergency accommodation in existing homeless services.

20 EXTREME COLD WEATHER BEDS -  single beds will be put in place by the Civil Defence, if the temperature reaches zero degrees over three consecutive nights

37  NEW FAMILY UNITS-  including  12 units in Hazel House, Dublin 11 (onsite support provided by the Peter Mc Verry Trust) and 25 units in Ballymun Plaza, Dublin 9 (in reach support provided by Depaul Ireland)

18 NEW COUPLES UNITS  - on Sean Mc Dermott Street for couples who have been entrenched in rough sleeping in addition to couples that were accessing emergency accommodation on a singles basis. This accommodation forms part of the CWI but also provides  long-term tenancies to couples (onsite support provided by Sophia Housing).

80 ADDITIONAL FAMILY ROOMS are now in place to provide emergency accommodation for households, who are currently accommodated in commercial hotels.  This service will also have onsite professional key-working services to support families in relation to finding long-term accommodation

-Ends-

NOTES TO EDITOR

CORE RESPONSE SERVICES TO PERSONS WHO ARE ROUGH SLEEPING

Housing First Service

The state-funded Housing First Service provides two teams that assertively engage with persons who are currently rough sleeping or who have had an extensive experience of rough sleeping.

Team 1. – The Intake Team work with persons who are currently rough sleeping on the street from 7am to 3am and who are in need of emergency accommodation and support.

Team 2. Intensive Case Management (ICM) Team works with persons who have an extensive experience of rough sleeping and who have a Housing First Tenancy (a self contained home provided within the community) with unlimited wrap around support services to assist person to maintain their home. This is available on a 24 hour basis.

The Intake Team make direct referrals to Housing First tenancies for persons who have long-terms experiences of rough sleeping.

01    71 2555         Out-of-hours 086 8139015

Central Placement Service FREEPHONE (Dublin City Council Homeless Services)

The Central Placement Service is available during the day in Parkgate Hall, 6-9 Conyngham Road, Dublin 8 for individuals and families presenting as homeless in the Dublin City Council area. In addition, assessment and placement services are in place in the housing departments of South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

For access to emergency accommodation contact FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 from 2pm, this includes an out-of-hours service until 1am (including weekends)

Merchants Quay Ireland Night Café

The state-funded Night Café is open from 11pm to 7.30am and provides a range of services to people who are experiencing homelessness and drug use including;

Referral to support services for accommodation, treatment, health, social services

Brief interventions on addiction and mental health

Information and advice

Tea/coffee and a light meal

Showers/clothing

Breakfast service is available from 7.30am and users of Night Café will also be provided with breakfast

This service will be operated through inward referral from the Central Placement Service FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 and Housing First Intake Service Team (out-of-hours 086 8139015)

PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS FOR SINGLE PERSONS/COUPLES AND FAMILIES

Tenancy Protection Service 

A Tenancy Protection Service provided by Threshold, on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, is in place to assist individuals and families, who are renting in the Greater Dublin Area and who feel that they are at risk of losing their tenancy.

Callers will receive the following prompt interventions, if they are at risk of losing their home:

Immediate guidance about rights as tenants and landlord obligations

Negotiation between tenant and landlord to resolve problems and take further action if needed, including the referral of a clear dispute to the Private Residential Tenancies Board

For rent supplement customers, an application for an uplift in payment[5] can be made to the Department of Social Protection for families/couples or individuals, who are facing a rent increase and who are at risk of becoming homeless

Referral to Tenancy Sustainment Services provided by Focus Ireland and the Dublin Simon Community if required at early point of contact.

FREEPHONE 1800 454 454 between 9am to 9pm

BACKGROUND TO THE OFFICIAL COUNT ON ROUGH SLEEPING IN THE DUBLIN REGION

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive carries out official counts on rough sleeping every six months. The street count is a way of confirming a minimum number of people sleeping rough on the night in question in the Dublin region and assists us in measuring the effectiveness of the regional strategy, in addition to planning for services.

The local authority recognises that a single count only tells part of the picture; rough sleeping is a dynamic situation whereby people can spend long periods sleeping rough or on a very sporadic basis.

There were over 120 volunteers and staff from homeless services involved in the count across the Dublin region

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