Rough sleepers denied accommodation during Winter despite rooms being available

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Rough sleepers have been denied accommodation during winter despite rooms being available, a new RTE investigation has revealed.

The new documentary which airs tonight explores the lives and hardships of homeless people living on the streets of Dublin.

Those that are sleeping rough are supposed to be able to get an emergency hostel bed by ringing a freephone number operated by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE).

But rough sleepers from outside Co Dublin are being denied access to an emergency hostel bed in the city, which has drawn major criticism.

In early December Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that nobody is being denied a hostel bed, but days later RTÉ Investigates filmed with homeless people who tried ringing the DRHE looking for a bed for that night – only to be told they couldn’t help them.

The programme shows one night where there were 75 beds empty when one of the homeless men featured in the series called the freephone number, but he was told he could not access a bed.

In the programme, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien offers his apologies and says this should not have happened.

The DRHE said they look at everybody on a case by case basis and use their maximum discretion.

They also pointed out they “are not responsible for providing homeless accommodation for everybody in the country”.

In an interview with RTÉ Investigates, Minister O’Brien said: “Where they can be made public, they should be. I haven’t, and I don’t have any difficulty with that. I think we need to make sure that we, that our standards are the best they possibly can be.”

On top of that, a survey of 80 rough sleepers found that 48% were not addicted to drugs before becoming homeless.

However, after becoming homeless, 50% of those people became addicted to hard drugs – despite never previously having a drug problem.

RTE Investigates: Stuck in the Rough airs on Monday at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and the RTÉ Player.

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Source: Dublin News