25% of Dublin Simon Emergency Beds Occupied by Employed People

25% of Dublin Simon Emergency Beds Occupied by Employed People. 

33 of Dublin Simon’s emergency beds were occupied by workers out of a total of 129 emergency beds on one night in June 2023. Construction workers, tradespeople, carers, security staff, taxi drivers and social media content moderators were some of the workers affected.

Dublin, 28 June 2023: Staff at Dublin Simon Community emergency services are reporting increasing numbers of working people with nowhere to live and requiring emergency beds. On one night in June, 33 of Dublin Simon’s emergency beds were occupied by workers out of a total of 129 emergency beds. The cohort of workers affected included cleaners, event and retail security staff, taxi drivers, van drivers and lorry drivers, scaffolders, electricians and construction workers, healthcare assistants and carers, shop workers and retail staff, barbers and bar workers. 

The growing phenomenon can be attributed to a constellation of factors, including the scarcity of suitable accommodation, soaring rents, the wider cost-of-living crisis, and notices to quit coming to the end of their term. The individuals impacted report attending viewings where hundreds of people were vying for the same room or property for rent. Single people are at a distinct disadvantage as they lack access to a combined income, making them even more susceptible to homelessness. 

Senior Manager of Emergency Services at Dublin Simon Community, Niamh Brennan said,  

“These people are getting up in the morning, doing a full day’s work and then making their way to emergency accommodation to try to get some rest. It is deeply demoralising for those who are working to have to rely on emergency beds in homeless services to lay their head down at night.  

She added,  

“Single men are overrepresented in homelessness demographics and are being overlooked and neglected in the national discourse. It is our view that every person experiencing homelessness matters and deserves an exit from homelessness. 

On the severe bottleneck in Dublin Simon Community homeless services, she said, 

“There is a serious lack of exits from homelessness to adequate accommodation, meaning that people are becoming stuck in services indefinitely.”  

CEO of Dublin Simon Community, Catherine Kenny stated,  

“As Government plans to significantly ramp up housing supply and the Fiscal Advisory Council recently warned that Ireland needs an influx of construction workers to meet this demand, there are skilled construction workers and tradespeople relying on beds in emergency accommodation. We have essential workers providing healthcare to the most vulnerable being pushed into crisis.  

She called for the immediate implementation of short and medium-term homelessness prevention interventions.  

We need fully resourced tenancy sustainment services, homelessness prevention teams to be established in each local authority, and a review of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to reflect market rates, to occur in conjunction with the longer-term plan to increase housing supply.  

“Moreover, we are calling on Government to deliver sustained funding for the homelessness sector that reflects the full cost of service provision, accounts for the extraordinary surge in need, and appropriately remunerates our trained professional staff who are working at and beyond capacity.”