HSE "Cannot Deliver" On Homelessness Pledge

Campaigners against homelessness have accused the Health Service Executive (HSE) of actively contributing to the numbers sleeping on the streets.

The Simon Community, a homelessness support group, has spoken out against the HSE’s decision to freeze funding at last years levels, saying the HSE was failing to fulfil its obligations under a two year plan to end homelessness called Key to the Door.

The Chief Executive of the Simon Community, Sam McGuinness said: “We are now in the second year of the plan that would seek to eliminate all long-term homelessness by 2010.

“It is very clear now that one of the critical constituent parts has said it cannot deliver. It appears that when the HSE was completing its budget plans in 2007 they forgot about some projects already in the pipeline.”

The freezing of the funding level means a cut in funding for the project in real terms as the effects of inflation come into play during the course of the year.

Tireless homelessness worker, Fr Peter McVerry, said the project would be negatively affected by the HSE’s decision, effectively forcing the non-governmetal sector of homelessness support to make cutbacks.

A spokesperson for the HSE defended its position saying it was still playing its part in the homelessness strategy.


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