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Mary Lou McDonald backs eradication of homelessness campaign

25 October, 2006


Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed a new combined strategy which is hoped could eradicate homelessness by 2010.

Ms McDonald made her comments as Focus Ireland, the Simon Community, St Vincent de Paul and Threshold urged the public to get involved in the 'Make Room Campaign'.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"In one way, a campaign to eradicate homelessness across the state by 2010 is an ambitious plan. Given that central government has not made adequate funding available to local authorities to increase their stock of social housing. However, with real political will, homelessness across this state could be eradicated. There is absolutely no reason why people must be forced to sleep in alleyways and doorways in one of Europe‚s richest countries.

"Sinn Féin regards the delivery of adequate levels of appropriate social housing as key to the resolution of the homelessness crisis. This current government needs to act - it needs to deliver that which the market is unable or unwilling to deliver.

"I want to pay tribute to the organizations who are working so very hard to combat homelessness not only in Dublin, but across this state. As we approach another cold winter, we must remember that homelessness is not limited just to rough sleepers. It also includes people staying in emergency hostels or refuges, staying in B&Bs, people living in squats, staying temporarily with friends or family because they have nowhere else to go.

"The homeless are amongst the vulnerable section of our society, often facing physical attack, undernourishment and severe illness. It is high time that this government takes responsibility for the crisis, which is literally on all our doorsteps." ENDS

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