HOMELESS AGENCY: Cheap alcohol has created problems for Trust, the homeless agency, and has meant it must continue restrictions on its “open door”, in place since 2009.

According to its annual report, published this week, “in 2011 the very obvious increased easy availability of high-alcohol content products in supermarkets and eastern European shops added to at times unpredictable behaviour of some people using the services of Trust.

“This obviously led to increased potential for violence. Alcohol hand-wash from hospitals also emerged as an easy available source.”

It continued that “criminality in the homeless sector … was and continues to be a cause for concern. However, many vulnerable people who are homeless are easy targets and often their only crime is the fact that they cannot avail of services to meet their needs.”

Established in 1975, Trust ended its “open door” policy in 2009 due to factors which “in some cases are even worse,” it said. These included violence, drug use and racism.