My Department reminded local authorities last month, in the context of the extreme cold weather conditions, of the need for vigilance in relation to any possible incidences of rough sleeping. Housing authorities have wide and flexible statutory powers to assist or make arrangements for the accommodation of homeless persons and have adequate arrangements in place to deal with any possible issues. They have been requested to maintain a proactive approach, including appropriate monitoring/contact, to ensure, as far as possible, that no person is left vulnerable due to lack of access to local emergency accommodation, should the need arise. A number of large urban areas where there may be incidences of rough sleeping have implemented new cold weather initiatives including Dublin City Council, Galway City Council, Limerick City Council, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
In Dublin, homeless services are strictly monitoring rough sleeping on a daily basis to ensure that there is sufficient bed capacity in emergency homeless accommodation. If a person is experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping they can access emergency accommodation through the Homeless Persons Unit or they will be linked into accommodation through the proactive Outreach Teams, who are on the streets on a daily basis ensuring that people are accommodated.