Supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a priority for this Government and the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan includes a range of measures which reflect that priority. In particular, Rebuilding Ireland includes specific actions relating to the provision of emergency accommodation and the range of supports to be provided to households accessing such accommodation.
Under Rebuilding Ireland, my Department is funding an initiative to provide homeless families residing in temporary emergency accommodation in the Dublin Region with access to free public transport for essential school journeys. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) oversees the implementation of this initiative and, working in partnership with the National Transport Authority, has put arrangements in place for the provision of Leap cards to the families concerned. These Leap cards provide for free public transport for school-going children and accompanying adults, where necessary. The cards are distributed through the Family Homeless Action Teams, which are also funded by the DRHE.
As the Leap cards were introduced to support essential school journeys, there are no plans to extend the provision of the cards outside of the school term. However, the Community Welfare Service of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may consider, on a case-by-case basis, the needs of an individual household in respect of exceptional transport costs.