Dublin-based charity, Trust, has reported that Irish homeless people now outnumber non-Irish homeless people presenting every morning for hot showers and medical services. This change in ratio is in stark contrast to the period during the boom years when the majority of homeless people on the streets of Dublin were immigrants from eastern Europe.
Trust director Alice Leahy has said it is difficult to know where the foreign homeless had gone; it is expected that most of them somehow returned to their homeland while others had died from the perils associated with living rough. Figures obtained from the department of social and family affairs note that there has been a 57 per cent decrease in the arrival of citizens from the EU's newest member states compared to this time last year, while the numbers of Polish immigrants, who previously made up the largest non-Irish ethnic group, have fallen by 62 per cent.
Trust offers hot drinks and, when needed, clothes and shoes. It provides access to dentists, doctors, chiropodists and opticians. Leahy said the charity is not surprised with the increase in Irish visitors, given the current climate, with many telling stories of losing employment and accommodation and getting involved in alcohol or drugs. She said