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Rough sleepers need emergency support as temperatures drop - Ellis

19 November, 2013 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on Minister for Housing Jan O'Sullivan to put in place emergency support for homeless agencies and charities to deal with the record numbers of rough sleepers on the streets this winter. He made his comments as temperatures in Dublin today dropped below 5 degrees centigrade today.

Deputy Ellis said;

"Every year unfortunately we hear stories of people, without home who have slept out and died due to exposure. These deaths are utterly tragic and completely avoidable. This year though we face an even greater danger due to government spending cuts and spiralling rough numbers.

Last year homelessness services were cut by 4.5 million euro in Dublin city. Housing has been cut again in Budget 2014 and every homelessness charity is operating at maximum capacity already. Rough sleeper numbers have also increased by 88% since 2012. We need to take a special focus of protecting people on the streets from the dangers of exposure. This requires emergency support for the work being done by homelessness agencies and chairites to get people off the streets even if just for these winter nights.

This government have committed to ending rough sleeping, what better time to start than today as harsh weather conditions descend.

I would also call on people to notify local agencies and charities of rough sleepers in their area. This simple action by the public could save lives."

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