The Dublin Region Homeless Executive is provided by Dublin City Council as the lead local authority in the response to homelessness in Dublin
and adopts a shared service approach across South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.


Cold Weather Strategy prevent rough sleeping during cold weather

Jan 11, 2017

Dublin City Council, as the lead statutory authority in the Dublin Region, through the functions of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, is leading out on providing the Cold Weather Strategy (CWS) in order to provide a humanitarian response to persons who are rough sleeping and experiencing homelessness in the Dublin region during the cold weather.


The CWS aims to prevent fatalities and/or serious harm resulting from cold temperatures and it provides dedicated additional beds to the existing number of beds in homeless services available on a nightly basis in the Dublin region.


The impact of severe weather can be immediately life threatening to people who are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping and it is critically important to have a service coordinated response plan in place for the duration of the cold weather period.


Services operate throughout the year to support persons who are sleeping rough, however, there is an increased emphasis on the level of service provision in place from November to March each year, in order to mitigate against the health risks that people can be exposed to through rough sleeping in severe weather conditions.


Accommodation capacity is monitored on a daily basis through PASS[1],with adequate provision in place for people who are rough sleeping.  The cold weather period provides different opportunities for engaging with entrenched rough sleepers and hard-to-reach groups and increased support needs to be available.


The CWS is based on the following two principles:


  1. Ensure adequate capacity of emergency beds to meet presenting need and provision of a harm reduction approach to people who are rough sleeping and who may not be in regular contact with homeless emergency accommodation providers.


  1. Ensuring a collaborative and coordinated response to managing emergency presentations of homelessness during periods of very cold weather.


Core responses to persons who are rough sleeping


  1. Dublin’s Housing First Service


The four Dublin Local Authorities fund Dublin’s Housing First Service (operated by PMVT and Focus Ireland) to provide two teams that assertively engage with persons who are currently rough sleeping or who have had an extensive experience of rough sleeping across the Dublin region.


Team 1: The Intake Team work with persons who are currently rough sleeping on the street from 9am to 1am and who are in need of emergency accommodation and support.


Team 2: Intensive Case Management (ICM) Team works with persons who have an extensive experience of rough sleeping and who have a Housing First Tenancy (a self contained home provided within the community) with unlimited wrap around support services to assist persons to maintain their home. This is available on a 24 hour basis.


The Intake Team make direct referrals to Housing First tenancies for persons who have long-term experiences of rough sleeping


01 671 2555         Out-of-hours 086 8139015


As part of Rebuilding Ireland – Pillar 1 addressing homelessness, Dublin’s Housing First Service has been expanded to 300 tenancies which will specifically be for persons who are rough sleeping.


If a member of the public would like to make Dublin’s Housing First Service aware of a person who may be sleeping rough in the Dublin region, who is in need of assistance, please contact us here



  1. Central Placement Service FREEPHONE (Dublin City Council Homeless Services)


The Central Placement Service is available during the day in Parkgate Hall, 6-9 Conyngham Road, Dublin 8 for individuals and families presenting as homeless in the Dublin City Council area. In addition, assessment and placement services are in place in the housing departments of South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.


For access to emergency accommodation contact FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 from 2pm, this includes an out-of-hours service until 1am (including weekends)


  1. Merchants Quay Ireland Night Café


Merchant’s Night Café is open from 11pm to 7.30am and continues to provide respite to persons who do not access emergency accommodation. It works to support them into accommodation and other support services.


It also provides:


  • Referral to support services for accommodation, treatment, health, social services
  • Brief interventions on addiction and mental health
  • Information and advice
  • Tea/coffee and a light meal
  • Showers/clothing
  • Breakfast service is available from 7.30am and users of Night Café will also be provided with breakfast


This service is operated through inward referral from the Central Placement Service FREEPHONE 1800 707 707 and Housing First Intake Service Team (out-of-hours 086 8139015)




[1] The Pathway Accommodation and Support System (PASS) operated by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) generates vital information in terms of managing access to accommodation.  The system therefore provides ‘real-time’ information in terms of homeless presentation and bed occupancy, therefore allowing emergency provision to be reviewed and necessary planning to be undertaken, in terms of adjusting bed space capacity.