ICHH has 'grave concerns' over lack of emergency plans for homeless people amid Covid-19 pandemic

A Dublin homeless charity is calling on the government to implement an emergency plan for the homeless following the confirmation of Covid-19 as a worldwide pandemic.

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) has said that it has "grave concerns" over the response from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) regarding homeless adults and children, in particular those with underlying health issues.

It says that ICHH are implementing their own emergency plans and are due to meet later today to finalise plans for the services they provide.

Their teams have been out on the streets of Dublin to wash homeless people's hands and to provide them with support and advice.

Last night, ICHH teams say that they assisted 88 people. At 11.30pm they attempted to secure a bed for a man but found there were no beds available.

They also spoke to a woman who said that she had called the freephone number and was unable to secure a bed.

"Yesterday while requesting a proper plan for people that are homeless, both on the streets and in emergency accommodation, I was accused of causing hysteria," said ICHH CEO, Anthony Flynn.

"Since that meeting we had our first death in the country and schools have gone on lockdown. This is a global pandemic and needs to be treated as such.

"ICHH will continue to assess things day by day, our outreach service will continue to go ahead until further notice however access to the ICHH offices will be limited to volunteers only.

"People need to look after each other during this testing time for the nation and we will continue to help as many people as we can for as long as we can.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999