September 15, 2020
Government must initiate a crisis response to homeless deaths – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Eoin Ó BroinSinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to initiate a cross-departmental crisis response to the rising number of homeless deaths.

Deputy Ó Broin also called for the government to ‘introduce safeguarding reviews where a person engaging with homeless services or sleeping rough dies to determine what could have been done by relevant agencies to prevent the death.’

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta Ó Broin said: “I would like to express my condolences to the friends and family of the man who was accessing homeless services who was killed on Monday morning in Dublin 8.

“While the investigation into his death is a criminal matter and is up to the Gardaí, homelessness was nonetheless a factor in this man’s death.

“Already this year, the number of homeless deaths has exceeded the total number of such deaths in 2019 or 2018. 

“The government must initiate a crisis response that looks at all the tragic homeless deaths that have occurred recently.

“This response should include a process similar to what is used in England where safeguarding audits are conducted following the death of a rough sleeper or person engaging with homeless services.

“This multi-agency review seeks to determine what the relevant agencies involved could have done differently that could have prevented a death from occurring.

“We need to ensure that emergency accommodation is a safe space for people. This means the speedy phasing out of dormitory and shared room emergency accommodation. 

“We also need to see increased funding for mental health and addiction supports for homeless people and a fully independent inspection regime for all emergency accommodation.”

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