Social Democrats Political Director Anne-Marie McNally has urged homeless agencies and their facilities to take heed of the significant weather warnings in place for the coming days and ensure people are not forced onto the street during daytime hours, as is the usual practice.
Ms McNally said that with Met Éireann predicting ‘exceptionally cold weather and disruptive snow’ it is imperative that shelter facilities are available 24/7 to those who need them. The Government must also prepare and publicise emergency shelters across the country so that those who are homeless or vulnerable can be protected and cared for.
Speaking after Met Éireann issued its latest weather warning Ms McNally said:
“At the moment homeless facilities require people to leave the premises in the morning and return again at night meaning many people spend the day on the streets. The forecast for the week ahead predicts bitterly cold weather, with some models showing potential wind chill factors taking the temperature to minus 9 degrees. It would be absolutely inhumane for services to put people out on the streets in such weather.”
“I recognise that many of these services are under significant pressure in terms of resources and I would urge housing and homeless officials from both local authorities and the Department of Housing to work with the homeless services to ensure the shelters can operate 24/7 while this weather event is underway.”
“I would also remind people everywhere to check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbours during this period to ensure adequate supplies and heat sources are available.”
25th February 2018