Sir, – Inclusion Health has a dedicated team of a senior social worker, a clinical nurse specialist, a psychiatric nurse and case manager as described by Prof Clíona Ní Cheallaigh (“Homelessness leading to more ill-health, says expert”, News, July 3rd).
She noted that in 2015 – eight years ago – 10 per cent of those presenting at emergency departments were homeless.
Homelessness is complex and the story of the man referred to in the article would replicate the story of many people known to homeless services, this while acknowledging the uniqueness of every human being.
It was a reminder of how services have changed or not since the 1970s and 1980s. Then, hospital staff generally led by well-informed social workers, public health nurses, hospital doctors and nurses, community welfare officers (sadly no more) worked closely together with agencies working in the field of homelessness and, of course, there was less bureaucracy.
Yes, the drug situation was not as bad then and the numbers of people homeless was much lower. This situation too was helped by the availability of corporation flats, bedsits, and hostels and night shelters run by dedicated staff who provided a safe environment for those calling hostels home.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” – Yours, etc,
Director of Services,
Alice Leahy Trust,