Traditionally it has been difficult to quantify the number of homeless persons on an on-going basis; this is in part a consequence of the volatility within this cohort of housing need. However, during the course of 2013 the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), which commenced operation in Dublin in 2011, is being extended nationally. When PASS is fully implemented nationally it will provide good quality, timely, data which will allow housing authorities to report in relation to the on-going extent and the dynamics of homelessness as it is addressed.
In advance of the full implementation of PASS the most complete set of data available in relation to homelessness nationally is the Central Statistics Office’s special Census report, Homeless Persons in Ireland, which was published on 6 September 2012. This report indicated that a total of 65 individuals were sleeping rough on Census night, 10 April 2011, while identifying a further 3,743 people as housed in accommodation defined as emergency, transitional or long-term. Of the total of 3,808 individuals included in the report, almost 60% were in long-term or transitional housing arrangements.