2017 August

Homelessness group slams lack of political will

Posted on 31, Aug 2017

The organisers of the child homelessness campaign #MyNameis have been contacted by a government minister from New Zealand but have yet to engage with the Irish Government.

“A government minister from New Zealand has been in touch,” said Anthony Flynn, CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless, the group behind the campaign.

“I’m very, very disappointed with the political will. This campaign has touched a nation and it’s touched people’s hearts through stories like David’s.”

This week a video of nine-year-old David went viral when it showed him struggling to access and move around his emergency accommodation on account of his walker, which he needs because of his cerebral palsy.

David is seen trying to walk up steps with his walker. It is understood a ramp is to be installed at the B&B as a result of the attention his case received.

“And the only response we’ve had is a ramp. A ramp? A ramp is not the answer,” said Mr Flynn. He said the solutions to end economic homelessness exist but the political will needed to implement them are not.

“Eight thousand people are homeless (2,895 of whom are children), that is not a very big number in the larger context.

“The issue is political will. There’s no political will,” said Mr Flynn.

“I understand politicians are on holidays but homelessness doesn’t take a holiday. We’ve had six ministers with changing portfolios in five years. We’ve had 29 failed housing initiatives and we’re going to have a 30th with the rebranding of Rebuilding Ireland,” he said.

The housing activist, who set up Inner City Helping Homeless four years ago to address the rising number of rough sleepers in the capital, said he is disappointed with the low number of politicians who attended the campaign’s events so far in August.

“At a public meeting we held two weeks ago we invited every TD in the country and councillors from Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council and there were one TD and some councillors. It was a very poor show.

“An event we held on Monday night, same again, one TD showed up and some Social Democrats,” he said.


(Published by the Irish Examiner on the 31st August 2017)