Dublin Simon Community Responds to March Homelessness Figures

7,006 people recorded in emergency accommodation in Dublin in March 2020

Dublin, 30th April 2020: Dublin Simon Community welcomes the publication of the March 2020 Homelessness Report, released today by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Acknowledging the reduction in emergency figures, Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness noted the significant change undergone by the sector over the last number of weeks:

“The landscape we are operating in is changing rapidly from day to day and is scarcely recognisable from that of even three weeks ago.

We acknowledge the 3% month-on-month decrease in the number of people recorded in emergency accommodation during March 2020 and thankfully stakeholder attention is now focused on the emergency health crisis. This coordinated effort has led to the decongregation of emergency accommodation, which is critical in enabling our compliance with proper physical distancing guidelines and practice and facilitating our residents’ dignity and privacy.

With the outstanding cooperation of front-line staff, nurses, residents and volunteers, we have transformed our way of working to keep all of our people well, safe and distant while continuing to provide high quality care. Our clients have shown great commitment to physical distancing, hand-washing and respiratory hygiene. Infection prevention and control measures are firmly established and operational and front-line staff are working to mitigate the impact of physical distancing and isolation on our clients’ mental health.

In all of our services, counselling is being provided over-the-phone seven days a week and clients are receiving daily activity packs with meditation, exercises, articles, art ideas and puzzles, which are now also being used by a number of agencies across the sector. Move-ons out of emergency accommodation and into social housing have increased over the last couple of weeks and we hope to see more of this as we continue to navigate this pandemic.

Staff and nurses have demonstrated tremendous flexibility and dedication, working diligently to keep our clients safe and well during this challenging time. Both residents and front-line staff in our emergency accommodation services are working as a team to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and keep our community safe. In the face of adversity, the sense of optimism, solidarity, and mutual appreciation among clients, staff and our colleagues in all other homelessness NGOs has been truly heart-warming as we fight this pandemic together.”



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