Madam, – It is interesting to note that Minister of State for Human Rights Mary White is to sleep rough to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness (Home News, December 21st).
While welcoming any attempts to raise awareness, it should be noted that homelessness is a year- round problem that has not been ended in 2010, as had been envisaged by those charged with the responsibilities of solving homelessness at enormous expense.
People who sleep out do not have an address and as a result often experience difficulty getting their entitlements, some even accessing services as basic as having a wash and a cup of tea – facing the same the next night.
We in Trust have been working for over 35 years in the field of homelessness.
This winter is no different from any other time of the year, apart from the snow which has added to the misery that people have had to endure. Many people all over the island of Ireland have helped to alleviate that misery, some travelling long distances to work and others to deliver goods.
A little more than sleeping out for a few hours before Christmas is required to understand the complexities of homelessness and what is required to ensure that nobody is made to feel an outsider in the community in which we all live. – Yours, etc,