Council will
try to count
number that
sleep rough

AN attempt will be made next week to find out just how many people have been left homeless and are sleeping rough in Dundalk.

AN attempt will be made next week to find out just how many people have been left homeless and are sleeping rough in Dundalk.

As weakening economy shows up more cracks in the system Louth Local Authorities is to lead a count of rough sleepers in Dundalk and outlining areas.

This will be part of a count throughout the north-east and will take place next Tuesday night 13 November.

The hour-long count will start at midnight when a special team will visit locations where where it is thought there may be rough sleepers.

Any member of the public who is aware of someone sleeping rough is asked to contact Homeless Services on 087-4186000 or email before November 13.

The aim of the count, which forms part of a national initiative, is to allow local authorities and other agencies to develop appropriate supports to help everyone sleeping rough to move into more stable, longer-term accommodation.

“It is important in planning our future provision of emergency accommodation that we have an accurate picture of who is sleeping rough,” Mr Joe McGuinness, Louth County Council and chairman of the North East Regional Consultative Forum said.

“This count will allow us to co-ordinate better services and use resources to best effect.

“There is a very specific definition of rough sleeping so it excludes those in hostel or other short-term accommodation.

“Our specific interest for the November 13 count is to accurately track the number of people sleeping outside or in buildings, vehicles or structures not designed for habitation.”

The Simon Community in Dundalk recently highlighted the fact that one-in-three people are now worried about becoming homeless.

These figures were revealed during last month’s Simon Week when Mr Niall Mulligan CEO Dundalk Simon Community revealed that the number of people worried about homelessness rose from 24 per cent to 35 per cent over the past two years.

The recent Simon campaign tried to highlight these concerns by asking people to take a Step for Simon.

People were asked to write a letter to their local Dail deputy about Government funding for local housing or to consider becoming a Simon volunteer.

“People have become more vulnerable because of job losses, housing pressures and increased levels of poverty,” Mr Mulligan said. “The people who turn to Simon often have nowhere else to go.”