Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has announced it has initiated its extreme weather response in Dublin and across Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. The charity is targeting people sleeping rough and is hoping to encourage as many people as possible to avail of extreme weather beds to avoid exposure to very low temperatures and snow across the east of the Country. The charity has put in place a multi-stage plan that can deliver up to 126 additional bed spaces to protect rough sleepers.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We activated our extreme weather response at the weekend, ahead of the colder than normal weather which is expected to continue for the coming days. We have been working with Dublin Region Homeless Executive as well as the Mid-East Local Authorities of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Across these four areas we have put in place additional accommodation capacity of up to 126 additional bed spaces during this extreme weather event.”
“We have created a plan that allows us to deliver additional capacity across multiple locations on a staged basis dependant on the number of spaces needed and the extent of the cold weather.
Our Housing First Intake teams across these areas have been doubled since the weekend and they are engaging people who are sleeping rough. We have put in place transport supports to go and collect people sleeping rough across these four counties and to bring them to our services.”
The majority of the additional accommodation is in Dublin, where 101 bed spaces are available, while a further 25 spaces have been made available across Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.
The charity said anyone it was bringing into the extreme weather beds would be tested prior to their arrival to ensure positive cases get appropriate support and access to isolation facilities.
“We have also secured Covid-19 testing kits that will allow us to get 15-minute results for people we are engaging. Anyone who is confirmed as Covid-positive will be brought to a Covid-19 accommodation service operated by Peter McVerry Trust to get appropriate medical support and to isolate. Anyone who tests negative will go to the emergency shelter.”
Finally, Mr Doyle said, “In partnership with Kildare County Council we have extended the operating hours of its emergency out of hours freephone service which we operate. It will now run until midnight for the rest of the week and can be contacted on 1800 804 307.”