13 Jan 2016

E.4m spent on City’s Homeless?

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    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Cork City Council, has raised the question of value of money for the e.3,909,500 invested in tackling homelessness in the city. Figures releases at last Monday’s City Council meeting also revealed that e1,457,890 was spent in Cork City on emergency accommodation during 2015 with e.270,000 on private B&B rooms, e.202,800 to Edel House, e.310,000 to Cork Simon on Anderson’s Quay, e.529,370 to St Vincent de Paul – St Vincent’s House, and e.145,900 on the Rough Sleeper initiative.

     Cllr McCarthy noted; “Much has been said in the media that the Council is doing a limited amount of work in tackling homelessness; the figures show an investment in Cork City of near e.4m to tackle homelessness. The big question I have is are we getting value for this money, that it’s not being overly spent on staffing costs of the agencies we work with but is it getting to the people who most need it?

   He continued; “it is startling to see in October 2015, 304 single people and 14 families in temporary emergency accommodation managed by Good Shepherd Services, plus a further 14 families, and a further 314 people supported in transitional long term and residential accommodation.

    From receiving emails from some of those living in emergency accommodation, it is no bed of roses, a crammed family of 4/5 in a travel lodge with quality of life really, just surviving, not conducive to raising a family and worried sick about the future. Many are a victim of the housing shortage, the rises in rent – so when you weigh up the figures, there are probably over 500 people in the city, adults and children respectively who are the most vulnerable on our emergency housing list and housing list; many probably don’t have enough years on our waiting list and who are in a very precarious position, who not only need future hope but also financial and HSE support to get them back on track. They are part of the group of people who are falling through the cracks at the moment. I am not happy with that. There is also an average 27 individuals to be found on our streets on any given week – HSE supports in particular need to be strengthened to give them a better quality of life“.

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