Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.08 31 Mar 2020


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A homeless man who is being tested for the coronavirus says cooperation between charities and State agencies has been unbelievable in recent weeks.

Ray Halpin found himself homeless at the end of February.

He says his landlord needed the house for his children, who were starting college.

Ray had lived there for 18 years and preceeded to take his case to the Residential Tenancies Board.

He lost his case just after Christmas.

Ray told Pat Kenny he holds no ill-will towards the landlord, who gave him about six months notice.

"Once I was notified that the lease was being terminated I then had to find another place - and of course I couldn't in a city where the rent was crazy.

"So without affordable alternative accommodation, I had to seek the assistance of the homeless services".

He says he began to display coronavirus symptoms last Tuesday, when he was transferred from a hostel in Dublin city to a near-by hotel - where he has remained in isolation.

"In a crowded place, it's very difficult to practice self-isolation if indeed you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19.

"It's also difficult to observe the social distancing guidelines, for understandable reasons, if you're in a cramped accommodation.

"It's simply impossible to observe the guidelines as thoroughly as you probably should."

But he praised homeless services, and the Government, for their response to the crisis.

"I wouldn't pretend that the homeless situation is an easy one to resolve.

"But I have to say that over the past few weeks, the charities and homeless services in Government departments have come together and opened lines of communications that have allowed mountains to be moved in two weeks.

"It didn't seem possible to move those maintains prior to that point.

"I would imagine that now that people are housed in Airbnb places, hostels and so forth I imagine they would be reluctant to move from those places once this was over".

"I think myself with the cooperative services in place at the moment, if we can maintain those lines of communication the problem that I experienced - and others experience - could be resolved more speedily in future".

  


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Coronavirus Homeless Hostels Pat Kenny Ray Halpin Residential Tenancies Board

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