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Cllr Ward labels the policy of self-accommodating for our homeless draconian

4 May, 2017 - by Matt Carthy

Sinn Fein Councillor for the Clondalkin area has had a motion passed at a special meeting of South Dublin County Council calling for the abolishment of the practice of self-accommodating for the homeless. Self-accommodating puts the onus on the homeless family to source their own temporary accommodation.

Cllr Ward said;

“Homeless families are accommodated in commercial hotels and hostel accommodation throughout the county. Due to the limited number of placements available for family type accommodation the self-accommodation option is offered enabling those families to source their own emergency accommodation in an area/location suitable to their needs”

“The option of self-accommodating on the face of it could be seen as giving the person ownership in the decision making process. The reality is quite different.”

“I have had families in my office with young children. They have all their personal belongings with them.  No means of transport only public, if they can afford it. And above all no idea where they will be staying that night.”

“The whole day for this family is spent on the phone ringing hotel after hotel trying to source accommodation. I’ve witnessed the stress that this puts parents under and in turn the trauma the children are going through.”

“Often parents do not have a phone or credit to call these hotels. I’ve allowed parents the use of my phone to call hotels and seen the desperation increase every time they are told there is no room in the inn. The look of hope in their children’s eyes disappearing with every call. “

“On one occasion I had a couple with 3 children using my phone over an 8 hour period trying to get accommodation.  Eventually they were successful in securing a roof for the night in a hotel that required them to get two busses to get to. So after 8 hours of stress these tired and worn out parents had to bring their exhausted 3 children and all their belongings on two buses across the city to have a roof over their head.”

“This is unacceptable and inhumane. I am happy to have a motion passed  calling for the policy of self-accommodating to be ended and for resources found to provide this service for our most vulnerable”

“This situation was very apparent during  the week of St Patricks festivities. I became aware of 7 families who have were asked to vacate their hotel rooms with their children in tow  during this week to make room for the influx of tourists. This pattern was across the city. When speaking with Focus and other agencies these families were asked to self-accommodate. As I’ve already explained it is difficult enough to find accommodation on a normal week it was almost impossible this week.”

“The practice of self-accommodating is draconian and If we are to be judged on how we treat our most vulnerable I’m afraid that we are failing them miserably”

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