Nov. 23, 2016, 4:39 p.m.
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THE NUMBER OF people homeless in Dublin has risen sharply in the last year.Figures issued by Focus Ireland show that a total of 5,146 adults and children were in emergency accommodation last month, which is a rise of 35% on last year’s figures.The number of homeless families has risen almost five times in the last two years with 1,026 families, including 2,110 children, in accommodation.The figures were compiled by Dublin Region Homeless Executive, which conducted its rough sleeper count yesterday evening, and its tallies are expected to show an increase of people sleeping on the streets in the capital.Mike Allen, director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, said: “It is terrible to see that during the last year the number of children who are homeless and living in emergency accommodation has more than doubled from 916 to 2,110.“The Government has to change”The issue was highlighted on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, which featured a 21-year-old mother who’d just registered herself homeless.Joy, and her three-year-old daughter, Carly, are now living in a hotel.She said: “I’m only young, I come from a well-respected family and I never thought I’d see the day when I’m in a hotel room… with a Christmas tree the size of my arm.Massaging the figuresMeanwhile, a homeless charity has accused Housing Minister Simon Coveney of massaging the homeless figures on the night of the official rough sleeper count.@EricaHome1 Erica we r working to ensure everyone who needs shelter can get it... I know it's been very cold— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) November 21, 2016
Source: Simon Coveney/Twitter@EricaHome1 Erica we r working to ensure everyone who needs shelter can get it... I know it's been very coldInner City Helping CEO Anthony Flynn has lashed out at Minister Simon Coveney over his tweet stating that anyone who needed shelter would be accommodated.The Minister last night tweeted that beds would be available for anyone the required them in the night of the official homeless count.‘The system has been in freefall for months with in excess of 160 people sleeping rough,” Flynn said.“It’s unbelievable that the Minister would indicate on the night of the official rough sleeper Count. ‘Anyone who required shelter would be accommodated’.“Where have they been all this time and will they still be in the system tonight? I’m accusing the Minister directly of massaging the figures. He owes us an explanation.“Why on the night of the official rough sleeper count are beds being added to the system? Any addition to emergency accommodation beds is welcome but reality is this is so the official count is kept at a number that is unrealistic to the actual figures. It’s a farce.” has contacted the Department for Housing, Planning, Local and Community Government for comment.With reporting from Darragh Peter Murphy