Netizen 24 IRL: McVerry 'furious' over comments about homelessness

Diposting oleh On 03.36

McVerry 'furious' over comments about homelessness

Fr Peter McVerry has said he's "absolutely furious" at comments made by the Director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive about homelessness.

Eileen Gleeson said that unauthorised volunteers who help homeless people are well intentioned, but they do not have an end game.

She said their intervention can prevent those in need from availing of supports that professionals can give in order to help move people out of rough sleeping and permanent homelessness.

She said that homelessness is complicated and there are standards and requirements that must be met in providing these services, particularly when dealing with vulnerable adults and children.

Latest figures show that there are over 8,300 homeless people in Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Ms Gleeson said it would be more beneficial if volunteers linked in with the profe ssional services, such as the Simon Community and Focus Ireland, in providing outreach services.

Speaking on the same programme, Fr McVerry said the comments were "an insult to many homeless people".

He said Ms Gleeson’s comments that many people do not become homeless overnight, were incorrect.

He said: "The majority of people do become homeless overnight. They become homeless because the landlord evicts them, because they cannot afford to pay the rent or because the landlords say they're selling their house or because the banks have re-possessed the landlord's house because the landlord hasn't paid their mortgage".

Fr McVerry said secondly Ms Gleeson said they want people to engage with the services, but "he said the services are awful and inadequate."

He said if you are drug free and you get a bed at all, "you will be placed in a room full of active drug users".

He said everyday peo ple come to him to say they were robbed in the emergency accommodation.

"Much of the emergency accommodation is so awful that people won't go into it," he said.

"Much of the emergency accommodation is so awful that people won't go into it," he said.

Fr McVerry said he was equally furious at Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's comments last week, when he said that Ireland had a low level of homelessness compared to other countries.

However, Mr Varadkar said the number of people living in emergency accommodation here has increased.

Fr McVerry said it was "absolutely untrue what the Taoiseach was saying".

He said he was quoting an OECD report from 2015, which is out of date and explicitly states that you cannot compare homelessness between countries because they use different definitions of homelessness.

He said the homeless figures of half of the countries referred to in that report included those stayin g at the homes of friends or family, because they cannot get alternative accommodation .

Mr McVerry said if we were to do that, our homeless figure would be 70,000- 80,000.

Source: Google News

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