The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has said that the charity which has been embroiled in sexual assault allegations, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) should be wound up.
They said they are 'absolutely shocked' by reports of very serious allegations relating to the organisation.
The DHRE was set up by Dublin City Council as the lead statutory local authority in the response to homelessness in Dublin.
They are particularly distressed that some of our most vulnerable citizens may have been subjected to serious sexual abuse while seeking support and assistance for their homeless situation.
Their main concern is for those affected by the reports circulating in recent weeks, and they are advising anybody who has been a victim of such a crime to report it directly to the Gardaí.
Both the DHRE and HSE have arranged for a professional advice and support service and appointments can be arranged by contacting 087 3266630 between 10am and 4pm each day.
Their outreach service (Dublin Simon) and their Housing First Intake Team (Peter McVerry Trust) will also advise homeless persons of this service as they engage with them.
They said they welcome the comments from the Garda Commissioner around the issue of vetting those who interact directly with vulnerable homeless persons.
“The DRHE is strongly of the view that greater regulation, vetting, and scrutiny is required for organisations/charities that set themselves up as service providers for homeless persons, including the provision of on-street food services.
“Several such organisations not funded by the DRHE have come into existence in recent years and the DRHE and our partner agencies will be endeavouring in the coming months to bring the necessary expanded scrutiny and regulation to all such organisations."
In relation to the ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ organisation they expect the investigative report commissioned by the former Chair of ICHH to be published soon, and the Garda investigations on the allegations made will continue and that the outcome of this will also be published in due course.
They are now strongly of the view that the organisation ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ should be dissolved in an orderly way and as quickly as possible.
Any remaining services provided by ICHH can easily be transitioned into other service providers and the DRHE can assist in that process.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.