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Homeless people in Wicklow put back onto streets as homeless accommodation closes – Brady

7 June, 2019 - by John Brady TD

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has sharply criticised the closure of 12 emergency homeless beds in the Bray. A number of the occupants of the shelter received a Notice to quit letter last Friday informing them that from Friday 7th their place in the facility was closed. The Simon Community operate the homeless shelter on behalf of Wicklow County Council.

The Wicklow Sinn Féin TD said:

“At a time when emergency homeless beds are needed more than ever, the decision to close the facility in Bray and put homeless people back onto the streets is a scandal. The housing crisis is continuing to grow with more and more people and families presenting as homeless. We need more houses and emergency accommodation to meet the demand, not closing beds.

“I am dealing with a number of people who had been using the facility and, as of today, they are back on the streets, no alternative accommodation was offered to them. The only choice they say they have is to get sleeping bags and sleep in a field somewhere. The closure of the beds in Bray comes about only a matter of weeks after the terrible death of a young homeless man in the town.

“People are dying on our streets and the very measly measures being put in place to prevent this are being shut down. The 12 emergency winter beds in Wicklow were opened before Christmas, but never met the demand in Wicklow. There has been a consistent waiting list to gain access to the emergency beds. Despite this, a decision has been made to close these beds. It is absolutely shameful.

“I have continuously raised the issue of homelessness in Wicklow with Minister Eoghan Murphy and the need to keep the facility in Bray open. His constant reply has been that funding is not an issue and all Wicklow County Council need to do is ask for funding. The question has to be asked then why are homeless people in Wicklow being thrown back onto the streets if that’s the case. The Minister needs to intervene immediately to ensure that these vulnerable people aren’t evicted and the facility remains open as long as there is a need for it.” 

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