‘People in crisis are not 9 to 5’

By Maurice Garvey

Lack of information for an out-of-hours emergency contact for homeless services in the county, has been highlighted by Independent councillor Francis Timmons.

At a council meeting this week, Cllr Timmons asked South Dublin County Council a number of homeless-related queries, including information for an emergency outreach contact.

NINTH LOCK

No out-of-hours emergency contact number was provided to the councillor.

Cllr Timmons continued: “I find it extremely frustrating that some replies I am getting back lately are not fully answered or correct. With the evenings getting colder it is only a matter of time before someone else homeless dies in our community.

“I have no contact or name for a SDCC outreach worker or the hours that person works. People in crisis are not 9 to 5 – they need adequate 24-hour services provided by the State. The last few years people have literally died on our streets – how many more have to die before something is done.”

Cllr Timmons, who established Clondalkin Helping Homeless (CHH) support group, says complex needs of individual people sleeping rough in the county are funnelled into a “one service fits all.”

CHH recently helped two males who didn’t want to link in with emergency accommodation service as “they don’t use drugs”.

Cllr Timmons continued: “They are concerned about drug use in emergency beds. There are many different reasons why people won’t use emergency services. A one service fits all doesn’t work. Some people are homeless for short periods, on and off for different reasons, complex needs must be met.”

In September, a homeless man was hailed a hero for trying to save a Ballyfermot resident from drowning, after the resident slipped and fell into the Ninth Lock canal.

SDCC conducted a county-wide rough-sleepers count on November 7, but none were located in Clondalkin.

In response to Cllr Timmons query on emergency services, SDCC said: “Tus Nua on the Nangor Road provide a homeless drop-in Monday-Friday, providing hot meals, showers, laundry facilities and advice and information. SDCC outreach worker holds a clinic in Tus Nua every second Wednesday afternoon.  

“Outreach patrol takes place every Tuesday morning in the area.  All reports of rough sleepers are also reported to Housing First intake team who link in with rough sleepers out of hours.  All rough sleepers are offered beds in emergency accommodation as a first response.”

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