#MyNameIs campaign announces national day of action on homelessness

There will be a national day of action on homelessness on Saturday, April 7, which will see wide-scale protests to highlight the crisis.

The national Homeless and Housing coalition, which includes several campaign groups and charities, is also calling on the Government to introduce a new housing policy based on bringing vacant sites and properties into use.

The announcement comes as a major concert is being held to increase awareness.

Charities, trade unions and politicians held an alternative housing summit today, to call for a national emergency to be declared on homelessness.

Recent figures show that almost 8,500 people in emergency accomodation in October.

The national homeless and housing coalition wants several actions, including regulation in the private rented sector and a new housing policy based on vacant sites and building social houses.

Homeless Campaigner Fr Peter McVerry says the current policy should be torn up.

He said: "Since the Government introduced their housing policy, the number of homeless people has gone up and up and up every single month.

"That, to me, is a sign of failure. Clearly, what the Government is doing simply isn't working."

As well as a national day of action in April, a number of smaller demonstrations to prepare for it will be held in the meantime.

People before Profit Councillor, Tina MacVeigh, said: "Anyone who is outraged by the extent of the homeless and housing crisis, or is affected by it, we are asking people to join local groups.

"We are establishing branches in Munster and Connacht, in Cork and Galway."

The announcement comes as the #Mynameis campaign is holding a major concert on Dublin's Molesworth Street to highlight the crisis. It features Glen Hansard, Frances Black and Emmet Kirwan among others.

Pictured (left to right) Tina Macveigh, People before Profit Councillor; Peter McVerry, Founder of Peter McVerry Trust; Eilis Ryan, Worker Party of Ireland; Patrick Bolger, Dublin Council of Trade Unions; and Keith Troy, Co-Founder National Homeless Housing Coalition, at today's people's Housing Summit held at the Mansion House in Dublin. Pic: Rollingnews.ie

Homeless Campaigner Erica Fleming says events like this are important.

She said: "I believe people with a profile have a moral obligation to use their voice, so people around the country and internationally will listen and understand what is going on in Ireland."

Matthew Devereux from the Pale says he wanted to help create awareness.

He said: "We are a great audience, we always sing along. We need to make our own tune, to be honest, I think today is more about hearing us all sing in unison, to the same tune."

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