Homeless woman found dead in Cork as new figures show 165 kids here without a home

Homeless woman found dead in Cork as new figures show 165 kids here without a home
Sudden death of woman in Cork. Tents pitched at Gillabbey Park, off Connaught Avenue, near University College.Pic/video Larry Cummins

A WOMAN who was sleeping rough in a tent in Cork city has become the third homeless person to be found dead in Ireland this week.

The woman, aged 30, is believed to have been a client of the Cork Simon homeless charity.

Her body was found yesterday in a tent near Gilabbey Park in the south-west of the city.

Gardaí at the Bridewell Station said the death was sudden but was not being treated suspiciously.

The death was confirmed as it was revealed the Government is preparing to convene an emergency housing summit next week in the wake of two others deaths of homeless people, in Dublin and Kildare, earlier this week.

Meanwhile, new figures have revealed that 165 children are homeless in the Cork region.

Cork Simon says it’s the highest number of homeless children the Cork-Kerry region has seen since records began.

Paul Sheehan, spokesman for Cork Simon, said the crisis continues to worsen. When the government officially started recording figures in January 2015, there were 13 families, including 26 children without homes.

He said: “It does have a long-lasting impact on children. We see a lot of people in our emergency shelters who have had very traumatic childhoods and that would be one of the overriding causes for their homelessness, so you can only guess what the future holds for children who are now stuck in this type of emergency accommodation and stuck there for far too long,” he said.

In January 2016, 34 families were homeless — 40 of those adults and 77 of them children.

The latest department data shows 61 families were living in emergency accommodation — 79 adults and 165 children. “These are the figures published by the Department of Housing and they reflect what’s happening nationally. They also mirror the number of adults that are in emergency accommodation. That is continuing to rise,”

“For any family living in emergency accommodation, be it a hotel room or a B&B, that’s going to put huge stresses and strains on the family for things like going to school, for simple things like eating properly and just living a normal family life. There’s no security in terms of secure housing. There’s no way people can plan for the future,” Mr Sheehan said.

A young homeless mother of two died in Kildare this week while, separately, a homeless man also died in Dublin.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has hit out at Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for prioritising spin and communications over taking real action on the crisis.

“The Government has failed to get to grips with it over the last number of years. People are talking about it all over the place, the lack of action, the lack of tentative progress,” he said.

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