FOLLOWING THE recent killing of Timothy Hourihane, a homeless man in Cork, Labour City Councillor Niall McNelis has called for supports for rough sleepers who are “vulnerable to attack”.
The former mayor said that while physical attacks were a concern, an even greater threat could come from cold weather. “As the depths of winter set in and the temperatures plummet, I am concerned there may be more deaths on our streets before the winter is out due to exposure,” he said.
He said many single men were using tents as they were “reluctant to use hostels and other emergency accommodation”, and consequently could “fall through the gaps in the system”. As a result he is calling for increased investment in State owned and backed social housing and the Housing First programme.
“I acknowledge the extra emergency beds that have been provided and the outreach work being done by housing charities,” he said, “but people will continue to die on our streets if there is not a comprehensive, methodical, sustainable, response that provides rough sleepers with a home and the supports they need.”