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28 Nov 2021

Homeless figures in Kilkenny surge with more families now at risk as Christmas nears

Kilkenny

Rough sleeping around the city was also acknowledged (File Photo)

Kilkenny is experiencing a surge in homeless presentations as the Christmas period nears.

At this week’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council, director of services Mary Mulholland revealed that 322 presentations have already been made to the local authority from people facing homelessness this year.

To put this into perspective, the number of presentations made during the entirety of 2020 was 252.

“If homelessness presentations continue at their current rate for the remainder of the year we are heading for a 57% year-on-year increase,” said Ms Mulholland.

The local authority is also set to increase the amount of hotel accommodation at its disposal in a bid to ease the current surge.

“We have had to increase hotel accommodation from three rooms to six rooms and are now facing the need for eight rooms by the end of the week,” Ms Mulholland said.

“We are likely to see an increase in the number of families living in emergency accommodation by the end of the year.”

A rise in the number of rough sleepers around the city was also acknowledged.

Councillor Joe Malone said that some local rough sleepers have informed him that they do not feel safe in emergency accommodation and prefer living in tents.

Ms Mulholland agreed that rough sleeping is now clearly visible on streets and said that the local authority and relevant agencies are continually working to provide a better outreach service to affected individuals.

“It’s important to note that all rough sleepers in Kilkenny that come to our attention are approached and offered services to help them off the streets,” she added.

Kilkenny County Council is currently adapting its homeless policy in a bid to lessen the impact of the current crisis.

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