Cork City Council spends more than €4m to tackle homelessness

Cork City Council spends more than €4m to tackle homelessness
Homeless people sleeping rough just off the South Mall in Cork City, Ireland. 

MORE than €4.1m was spent on service providers dealing with homelessness in Cork in 2019 by the city council.

Cork Simon was the biggest beneficiary out of 12 providers, receiving more than €1.1m.

St Vincent de Paul got almost €935,000 while Good Shepherd Services received just under €713,000.

The lowest amount was given to Renewal at just under €39,000.

The figures were released by the council’s director of housing in response to queries from councillor Kieran McCarthy at February’s city council meeting.

The rough sleeper count for the city at the end of January saw 12 people sleeping on the streets.

The figures are provided by Cork City Council and Cork Simon’s outreach team on a weekly basis. They patrol the city and engage with rough sleepers daily.

The council has also said there are beds available every night for anyone presenting as homeless to the Accommodation Placement Service or to Cork Simon’s Night Light.

However, it said that the reasons behind people still rough sleeping are “very complex and not directly related to the availability of a bed/home”.

Combining Cork Simon, St Vincent de Paul, Good Shepherd Services, and the Family Hub, there is a total of 231 emergency beds available in Cork City for homeless people and rough sleepers.

Asked about the mechanisms in place to combat homelessness over the winter season in the city, the council said it allocated 15 additional emergency beds “to ensure that no one had to sleep rough during the cold weather”.

“This seasonal intervention was to concentrate on ensuring there was capacity within the Cork Simon emergency shelter to accommodate those who are rough sleeping and who normally have high support requirements,” said Brian Geaney, director of housing.

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