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Rough sleeping reasons ‘complex’

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 4:15pm

People sleeping rough do so for a variety of reason and not because there isn’t a bed for them.

That was the sentiment of City Hall’s head of housing as it was revealed that more than €4m was given to local homeless charities and organisations last year with the same funding expected to be given throughout 2020.

Cork Simon received the largest portion with €1.1m while St Vincent de Paul was given just shy of €935,000 and Good Shepherd Services, who operate Edel House, got close to €713,000.

The figure came to light during a Cork City Council meeting on Monday when Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy asked what plans were in place to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping on Leeside.

He was told that St Vincent de Paul increased the emergency beds at St Vincent’s House by four beds and the space in the Cork Simon Day Centre at Anderson’s Quay provides sleeping space for up to 15 additional people, men and women, each night throughout the winter period.

Mr Geaney said: “The beds are available to ensure that those most in need, and individuals known to services as sleeping rough, will all have the option of accommodation during the cold weather period. The location is central and well known to people accessing the rough sleeper service. All participants have been and are encouraged to link in with the outreach team and the HSE Adult Multi Disciplinary Team.”

At the recent Cold Weather Initiative meeting held on 30 January, the most recent rough sleeper count was 12 persons in total across the city.

“The reasons behind rough sleeping are very complex and not directly related to availability of a bed or home. There are beds available every night for anyone presenting homeless to the Accommodation Placement Service or to Cork Simon’s Night Light. In total, combining Cork Simon, St Vincent de Paul, Good Shepherd Services and the Family Hub there are a total of 231 emergency beds available in Cork city for homeless persons or rough sleepers,” concluded Mr Geaney.

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