Rough sleeping is defined as “People sleeping, or bedded down, in the open air (such as on the streets, or in doorways, parks or bus shelters); people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats or stations)”.
Rough Sleeper Counts
We have carried out rough sleeper since 2007 and they take place every 6 months in April and in November. The street count is a way of confirming a minimum number of people sleeping rough on the night in question in the Dublin region and assists us in measuring the effectiveness of the regional strategy, in addition to planning for services.
We recognise that a single count only tells part of the picture; rough sleeping is a dynamic situation whereby people can spend long periods sleeping rough or on a sporadic basis. Government policy is a housing led response to homelessness and we are continuing to concentrate our efforts to eliminate rough sleeping through the provision of supported temporary accommodation, an assertive regional contact and outreach approach and the Dublin Housing First Demonstration Project.
The winter strategy is put in place from November to the end of March each year. This strategy provides an emergency humanitarian response to the needs of persons who may be sleeping rough during cold weather and seeks to provide rough sleepers with immediate access to accommodation in cold weather, to prevent death or significant harm which can result from very cold weather. It also seeks as far as possible to provide opportunities to end rough sleeping, by promoting active engagement with rough sleepers to identify appropriate housing options.
This initiative focuses on three core areas:
There are three groups which this initiative is targeting, who may not easily access the current range of services available:
A. Entrenched, hard to engage, long term rough sleepers
B. Ineligible rough sleepers
C. Rough sleeper with multiple bars/ exclusions from services
This initiative is monitored closely by the DRHE, and the Sectoral Accommodation Coordination Group. Dublin's Housing First Team are responsible for monitoring the temperature predictions and alerting the relevant services and sector when required.