Monday 16 September 2019

Officials insist that homelessness is not a major proble in Wexford

By David Medcalf

Homelessness is not a significant problem in Wexford, at least compared with Dublin, according to town manager Tony Larkin.

And social workers carry out informal checks when during cold snaps to ensure that anyone caught out in the open is okay.

He was speaking in response to a query from Cllr Anthony Kelly at the January meeting of Wexford Borough District.

The manager divided homelessness into two categories - temporary and rough sleepers.

Temporary accommodation is required, for instance, where a family is left without accommodation in the wake of a fire.

This is dealt with by having a few council houses vacant ready to deal with such emergencies.

To deal with individuals who have nowhere long term to stay, the county council helps to fund Ozanam House for men and the women's refuge.

However, this leaves some people who prefer to live out in the open: 'You cannot dragoon them into services,' remarked Tony Larkin.

He revealed how the council, working with the Vincent de Paul and gardaí, does its best to contact rough sleepers on their books at the beginning of winter to check on their wellbeing.

Checks are repeated when blizzards strike and the manager commented that such cases are complex: 'No one is sleeping rough for lack of accommodation. Homelessness is complex and it is top priority,' insisted the manager at the January meeting of the district.

Wexford People

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