Belfast Telegraph

Number of rough sleepers soars

The number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has soared by a fifth over the past year, according to official figures.

The latest survey by the city council identified 168 homeless people who will be sleeping on the streets over the coming winter.

The figure is up 20%, representing 29 more people on the streets, and comes after a massive 60% jump in the figure the previous year.

Of those sleeping out, Dublin City Council said:

:: 130 were male, 16 were female and the gender of another 22 was unknown.

:: 59 were identified as Irish, 39 from overseas and the nationality of another 70 could not be determined.

:: Three were aged over 61 years and 36 were aged between 18 and 30, with the rest in between or unknown.

:: Ten of those on the streets were not known to homeless services while there was no information on whether 77 had received any homeless support.

The survey is carried out by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive every six months, a Dublin City Council agency.

It only confirms a minimum number of people sleeping rough on a particular night in the capital.

"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," a spokesman said.

The council said arrangements are in place to provide a further 152 emergency beds for homeless persons by end of this year.

"This is to continue the effort to respond to the significant step- up in demand for homeless services across the Dublin region," the spokesman added.

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