Pubdate: Thu, 9 Dec 1999
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Copyright: 1999 The Irish Times
Contact:  11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Fax: + 353 1 671 9407
Author: Patsy McGarry


On a given December night between 20 and 35 people sleep rough in Dublin
city, most along the quays and some on the balconies of flats complexes.

According to Mr Brendan Kenny, principal officer in Dublin Corporation's
housing department, the figures vary from night to night and season to
season, with more people sleeping rough in the summer. A growing number of
those sleeping rough were young people between 18 and 25, most of whom were
drug addicts, he said. Exact figures are not available.

However, an ESRI survey conducted for the Homeless Initiative group last
September found that of the 275 people it discovered sleeping rough in the
Eastern Health Board area, one in five were under 20. Mr Frank Goodwin,
senior housing welfare officer with the corporation, explained that the 275
sleeping rough figure covered a period of one week. Some 160, mostly men,
were over 65.

As then, the young people tended to be shunned by the older people sleeping
rough, most of whom were alcoholics who did not like to be associated with
drug addicts, Mr Kenny said. Many of them came from broken homes or were
kicked out by parents who no longer thought twice about doing so to a
troublesome teenager.
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