Homeless a problem in South Tipp but only one person sleeping rough

As many as 83 cases of homelessness have needed help from South Tipperary County Council in just the first six months of this year.

As many as 83 cases of homelessness have needed help from South Tipperary County Council in just the first six months of this year.

While “sleeping rough” is not a problem in the county, homelessness is, the council members were told on Monday.

The information came to light as a report on the draft South East Homeless Action Plan was presented to the meeting.

Sean Lonergan, council housing section, said that there have been a total of 120 presentations to the council seeking help, but that some are repeat visits.

In every case the council tries to help people. Mr Lonergan said that in some cases they meet young people who have had a row with their parents and slept rough for a night. A simple phone call home can resolve this situation.

In other cases people are given emergency hostel accommodation in Waterford, as there is no hostel in Clonmel. Some make housing applications.

Mr Lonergan went on to say that the people now presenting to the council, in need of accommodation, has changed considerably.

Cases are “chaotic” and people can have a number of issues - addictions or families problems. This is why, he explained, the joint approach by the six local authorities in the South East is so good.

The meeting heard from Clare Grace, of the housing section, that there is no big problem with rough sleeping in the county, with only one consistent case. While homelessness affects all age groups, the council staff are seeing an increase in young women with drug issues.

The plan for each case is different, but under the Action Plan each plan is reviewed on an ongoing basis and followed to its conclusion.

When asked by Cllr Siobhan Ambrose if there was funding for a hostel in Clonmel Mr Lonergan said that under the government’s ‘The Way Home’ strategy he did not think there would be as they are encouraging people into houses.

The South East Homelessness Action Plan sets out the national and regional strategies to deal with homelessness within the region, and details the structures in place within the South East. The draft plan for 2013 to 2016 was approved by the council. It was welcomed by council chairman, Cllr John Crosse.

Proposing the plan Cllr Sylvia Cooney Sheehan said they were fortunate to have people like Mr Lonergan and Ms Grace with such compassion and humanity.