26 people now sleeping rough in Galway City

Sleeping rough on Lombard Street in the Galway City.

There are currently around 26 people sleeping rough on the streets of Galway City, according to the local authority.

A number of councillors raised concerns at a Council meeting at what they saw as an increase in the numbers on the streets.

Cllr Ollie Crowe described the homeless situation in the city as having reached “breaking point”.

“A woman with three young children has been living in a B&B for the past few weeks and she came to me as she is in crisis hoping she could be housed by this Council,” he said.

Patricia Philbin, Acting Director of Services for Housing, told councillors there were 24 families in emergency accommodation, ten families in hostel transitional accommodation and that both the Fairgreen and Osterley centres were full to capacity. She added that there are 26 people sleeping rough on the streets.

Ten of those sleeping rough had been assessed by the Council to establish their homeless status – three had no residential status, while seven were Romanian individuals that the Council was liaising with.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said he had met with the COPE Galway homeless charity and a number of other interest groups about the ending of the ‘Winter Initiative’ which had provided 14 extra beds for homeless people.

However, that scheme ended at the beginning of last month which had forced more people onto the streets.

The Council is now seeking additional transitional accommodation in an effort to move more individuals and families out of emergency accommodation.

At a meeting earlier this year, Mr McGrath said that not everyone on the streets wanted to engage with services, but that anyone who did want a bed would get one.

He also said that the rate of homelessness was worse in Galway than anywhere else in the country.