The plan by the Homeless Agency, as reported at the weekend, that it is to spend several thousand euro on a competition to find a work of art for its headquarters must be dropped immediately and Dublin City Council, its parent organisation, should take steps to reform that body as it is clearly out of touch with what is happening on the ground.

In TRUST we are involved in providing health and social services for people who are homeless and are acutely aware how serous the current situation is and only this week I was asked by the Gardai to go the city morgue to identify a man who was homeless, found dead sleeping out not far from RTE. At a time when the most marginalised die on the streets and do not make news anymore the spectacle of the Homeless Agency literally throwing away money will undermine public confidence and all agencies working in this field must take a stand against this type of indefensible expenditure.

We all have a responsibility, especially those of us working in this area, to try to generate public understanding of the needs of those who find themselves homeless. Providing ammunition to those who would be quite happy to spend much less on meeting the needs of those who are outsiders, and in many ways voiceless in our increasingly affluent society is inexcusable and those responsible for this fiasco should apologise to the people who are homeless in Dublin and the general public after they scrap this idea.

Yours sincerely

Bride Road
Dublin 8