Minister Eoghan Murphy confirmed today (16 October, 2017) that over the course of the weekend, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Dublin City Council, the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and all Local Authorities, have been working with a range of homeless agencies, to ensure that arrangements are in place across the country so that all homeless individuals and rough sleepers have shelter and a safe place to stay during Storm Ophelia.
- As the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government is the lead government department on emergency planning, Minister Murphy has been in contact with the main political parties to appraise them of actions being taken in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Ophelia;
- The Minister raised the issue of homelessness at the meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group this morning and updated it on the actions being taken by his Department, the Local Authorities and partner organisations to ensure shelter is available to all those who want it;
- Housing First Teams and Local Authorities have been working through the night offering shelter to those on the streets and transporting individuals to a range of facilities;
- All facilities will remain open for the full day during the storm and shelter is being provided to all those who need it;
- Additional facilities providing shelter and supports to those who need them have opened up across the country today;
- Local Authorities have been working and co-ordinating services across a range of organisations, including Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Simon Community, Peter McVerry Trust and Focus Ireland and this will continue as long as it is required.
- Members of the public are being asked to report any homeless case or individual that they have concerns about to their local authority and the cases will be followed up by each local authority area. In the Dublin region, members of the public can log and report cases of concern on the following website. http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper#1
Minister Murphy emphasised today that the safety of all citizens is the priority over the coming hours and days. He has indicated to all local authorities that he and his Department are available to provide whatever resources and supports are required during this very difficult time.