They’re not afraid of ‘poor people’.
They’re afraid of drug addicts etc. moving in as their neighbours.
Homelessness is a symptom, not a problem.
When you give a drug addict a roof over their head, the addiction doesn’t go away.
The underlying problem stays with them.
And when they’re your neighbour, it becomes *your *problem too.
Homeless ≠ addiction. Singles in particular can be simply left on the street as all accommodation is full
Accommodation prices are extortionate. Anyone who is poor is forced out of the rental market, no housing available ergo rise in homelessness.
People, aka public representatives, aka Leo Varadkar, objects to housing near houses as it “…will have a negative impact on the market value of homes”, therefore how do we build housing then?
The state should contract Sisk etc to build thousands of homes and rent them to the highest bidder. The whole idea of a “housing list” and “social housing” is old fashioned thinking. There’s no reason why units within walking distance of the city centre are rented below market rates to people who came from the housing list. It’s a “list” not a “queue”, it gets gamed
It would be interesting to know if there are any statistics on this. The counter argument would be that addiction doesn’t go away, it is overcome by the addict.
In this case giving an addict a secure home in order to try to make their addiction go away would be massively counterproductive. Making succumbing to addiction a route out of homelessness incentivizes addiction and provides addicts with more resources with which to pursue their addiction. Alternatively, supports that are provided should rather incentivize and support the efforts of the addict to overcome their addiction.
Abstract social arguments aside, I think it’s clear part 5 is an abject failure. Developers will do everything they can to avoid building social houses in a development because they see it, quite rightly, as devaluing the rest of the project. If we don’t want to go back to large council housing estates what do we do? Smaller council housing estates?
Meanwhile a serious outbreak of hysteria among the homeless/poverty industry…the “soup/sambos ‘n’ sleeping bag” brigade don’t like hearing the obvious truth, it seems
independent.ie/irish-news/n … 22990.html
*Father Peter McVerry has said that he is **“absolutely furious” *with a top Dublin City Council official who claimed that voluntary outreach services are not helping homeless people in the long-term. Eileen Gleeson, Director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, said that while organisations who provide things like food, hot drinks and sleeping bags to the homeless are “well-intentioned”, it’s not good in the long term.
irishtimes.com/news/ireland … -1.3292063 Volunteer groups who are only handing out food and clothing on the streets to long-term homeless people are not helping them, a senior local authority official has said.
Eileen Gleeson, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, said long-term homelessness resulting from years of “bad behaviour” cannot be solved by the efforts of “ad hoc” unauthorised groups. “Let’s be under no illusion here, when somebody becomes homeless it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years of bad behaviour probably, or behaviour that isn’t the behaviour of you and me,” she told Dublin City Council’s policing committee.
Not at all. The hysteria is among the government and the state. First Leo comments (incorrectly but with typical condescension) then Damien English, and now the director of the agency responsible for homelessness. Not coincidental. The affordability and supply crisis in Dublin housing is not what they want to have to talk about every week, their sick of it. It’s like John Bruton and Northern Ireland. Probably the new government communications dept id trying to reframe it all.
Irish Water was a wholly owned subsidiary of Fine Gael. This housing crisis is almost wholly down to Fine Gael action and inaction. When they entered government the dominant theme was ghost estates, falling prices, falling rents, half built structures. Now look where we are. It kills them that they can’t blame Fianna Fáil. They do blame them for not building social houses but they’re not building any themselves and they know Part V has failed as a policy but they won’t remove it.
If you think that Eileen Gleeson is some kind of ass kicking heroine listen back to her conversation with Sean O’Rourke, Brother Kevin and Peter McVerry. They were quite gentle with her dumbness was astonishing
McVerry: what’s this about regulations for standards for homeless accommodation ? There are none
Gleeson: Yes there are. They are on the forms your people submit
McVerry: but there can’t be, look at the conditions I’m forced to put people up in, if there are then I’m in breach and would have to close
Gleeson: just because people can’t comply doesn’t mean there aren’t regulations
The issue of homelessness is really a synonym for scarcity of cheap rental accommodation for the squeezed middle income earners. The homeless are just put up to as a front to generate an emotional reaction to get relief for the squeezed middle. The people we typically meet on the street who are homeless are overwhelmingly male and a high proportion of that group have visible substance abuse issues as well as mental health issues. They are anti-social, difficult to manage and deal with and only people who care for the spiritual well being of others are willing to voluntarily take them on. Previously they would have been able to find cheap accommodation courtesy of the slum lords which suited both fine, the slum lord had to do minimal maintenance (money for old rope and tax compliance-lite) and the person got cheap accommodation and had enough money left over for alcohol or drugs. Quite a few things have changed over the past decade, the welfare department changed the payment to be direct to tenant instead of landlord so a higher portion spent the money on juice and fell behind in their rent payments and landlords started rejecting them, they also changed the accommodation regulations so today landlords who dare take on these tenants must fill in a lot of paperwork and be compliant with tax and other regulations. The taxmans rainy day fund raid back in 2013 plus bankruptcy crisis after the 2008 crash and change in the regulations meant many old time slum lords left the market (many were elderly and did not have the energy or money to upgrade their property to meet the new regulations). With the enforcement of the regulations to improve standards a new market opened up for the land lords and the more anti-social men and women found themselves homeless and one the street, you may have noticed more new reports of men being found dead in the street of exposure since these changes. This new market for accommodation means tenant classes with a higher likelihood of anti-social behaviour are rejected, this means ALL tenants on social welfare are tarred with the same brush, every landlord who has dealt with social welfare tenants over time has encountered at least one bad actor who has cost them time chasing up rent, repairing property damage and having to find new tenants because the bad actor scares the other paying tenants away. Having a tenant on welfare sitting around all day looking for ways to complain to occupy their day is just not worth the hassle and they really are frozen out of the rental market with the availability of tenants from abroad. Irish society (behaviour is not unique to Ireland) had been hiding the problems of a group of anti-social men by outsourcing the problem to the slum lords and getting away with it for many years. Paradoxical as it seems homelessness is not really about a lack of accommodation. . . . is it?
The squeezed middle
I am aware of several instances of young Irish people with degree level education and working for multinationals having their rent subsidised by their parents even though they are in full time employment. The instances I know about are young women and in my view this behaviour is being driven by social status rather than lack of accommodation they can afford. Admittedly attitudes may have changed since I left home decades ago once I had a job the umbilical cord of any parental subsidies was cut and the money has been flowing the other way ever since. Another behaviour I am observing are young Irish and foreign professionals (degree level) who have their few years international experience down (and got Irish citizenship after 5 years) are moving away to other countries since they cannot meet their life goals here i.e. get married, have children, save for their education and retirement. People are even moving to Denmark because the income taxes are lower, as is the cost of accommodation and the wages are higher and I always thought the Scandinavian countries were high tax! The Universal Social Charge (USC) is having a major impact at the margins - as in will I stay or will I go type impact.
The consequence of this is driving a lot of churn in companies and is drawing more well educated people from economies in central and eastern Europe here which is fuelling additional demand for rental accommodation. Again rent is just a factor in this before you take into account the macro-economic effects of low interest rates (the bond bubble) and realise the Irish job growth is being driven by the hunt for more taxes in other countries that also pursue the welfare state model.
Eileen Gleeson’s choice of words about homelessness being due to ‘bad behaviour’ was poor. I wouldn’t attempt to justify it in any way.
However her point about their being too many soup runs in Dublin is correct. To my knowledge there are currently six or seven in operation, several are run by organisations with no paid or trained staff and some are run by people who make sandwiches in their homes and turn up in Dublin city centre to distribute them. I don’t doubt the good intentions of most of the people involved (although some are born again Christian or far left organisations so they have other motives too) but there is simply no need for this level of provision and most importantly it is undermining the ability of the properly skilled and resourced charities to deal with street homelessness.
The purpose of a soup run is not to distribute food per se - no one is starving on the streets of Dublin folks, there are several hot food distribution centres available to homeless people and open all day - rather the purpose is to try to befriend homeless people, gain their trust, do a preliminary assessment of their needs and get them in touch with the services they need to get them off the streets.
For instance, Simon Community has run a very effective soup run for decades that does exactly this. It is managed by professional staff and run by trained volunteers. Simon has a medical service and needle exchange linked into its soup run and of course it runs a network of hostels to accommodate homeless people and is networked into the services for homeless people funded by Dublin City Council and the HSE and so can refer people on to other services. There is an online system for doing this.
My contacts in these well established charities tell me that their ability to connect with street homeless is being undermined by the unofficial soup runs. Remember many people who sleep rough are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Why would they deal with a charity which is trying to get you off the street and into detox when they can deal with an untrained volunteer who doesn’t understand addiction and won’t be pushing you to change?
A man can end up homeless, purely because he is poor. You can see that full-time workers are now homeless, even unemployed degree holders are homeless.
Men are told to go to an emergency hostel, which is full or is full of drugs, they are given a sleeping bag and told to sleep outside.
This does not happen to homeless women or families generally. why? Because society view men as less important.
Homeowners smoke, drink, take cocaine, but that does not mean all homeowners are addicts, or does it?
Yes. Men are the overwhelming majority of the homeless and men are the overwhelming majority of prisoners in jail, that’s how we deal with anti-social people who have pushed us to the limit we push them to the margins. Yes they are poor, and it’s not lack of material wealth that sees them homeless, some of these guys even have university degrees, some held down careers for a while, and a surprising number of them have families they can turn to if they are willing to reform and engage with members of their family, however though a combination of shame, ego and burned bridges they won’t take that path easily. Christian ethos does still dominate in this country and one of the key attributes is the idea of forgiveness and repentance. Most of those men can change their situation today if they are willing to break the circuit that binds them in the rut they created for themselves, outreach programmes can help steer them, if they really want to move on. Male homelessness is a knotty problem more suited to the discipline of psychiatry, it won’t ever go away even with the provision of more accommodation all it does is change the location of where they die. The lack of cheap shelter and safer shelter has just bought the issue of anti-social men to the fore.
Men (and women) who engage in destructive behaviour on personal level or public level are shunned by society on the whole. Sure you can have a job, career and family one day and be getting by taking cocaine or alcohol or other prescription drugs on a regular basis, and if you don’t moderate your consumption your behaviour, judgement and health will become impaired. You will lose your job, be unable to provide income to support your family or yourself and all the attributes you used to define yourself disappear, people reject you and then you are homeless. Sure people get bad breaks, it could easily have been my own Dad at a low point in his life end up with everything going to hell in a handcart when his business failed, putting him under tremendous pressure economically and mentally. It takes a lot of resolve to get out of those situations, he was a teetotaller so he did not have that clouding his judgement and had a good reputation among his peers and relations and that helped him get going again.
Sure there are people on the street who are there for other reasons that we would class as mental behaviour problems leading to anti-social behaviour and they are the outliers, the majority of men follow much the same paths to homelessness.
I agree with all this. Then you add in the problem of non-nationals who are homeless. Which I think is to be expected. We have absorbed and churned through so much foreign labour there’s going to be a cohort who become “anti social men”
What I can’t accept is how Eileen Gleeson and Co think they are being blocked by volunteers from solving the problem. If an anti social man has to phone a number on a daily basis to find out if he’ll have a bed, how is that considered adequate ?
Is it the case that they don’t want the anti social men to get too attached and comfortable in one place because they’ll never leave a halfway house. And halfway houses are expensive ? Or do some just react against stability anyway and are drawn to chaos ?