The Dublin Region Homeless Executive has issued a statement on serious allegations reported in relation to ‘Inner City Helping Homeless.’
“The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) is absolutely shocked by reports of very serious allegations relating to the organisation, ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ (ICHH),” they say.
“We are particularly distressed that some of our most vulnerable citizens may have been subjected to serious sexual abuse while seeking support and assistance for their homeless situation.
“Our main concern is for those affected by the reports circulating in recent weeks, and we are advising anybody who has been a victim of such a crime to report it directly to the Gardaí.
“The DRHE and the HSE have arranged for a professional advice and support service and appointments can be arranged by contacting 087 3266630 between 10am and 4pm each day. Our outreach service (Dublin Simon) and our Housing First Intake Team (Peter McVerry Trust) will also advise homeless persons of this service as they engage with them.
“We very much welcome the comments from the Garda Commissioner around the issue of vetting those who interact directly with vulnerable homeless persons.
“The DRHE is strongly of the view that greater regulation, vetting, and scrutiny is required for organisations/charities that set themselves up as service providers for homeless persons, including the provision of on-street food services.
“Several such organisations not funded by the DRHE have come into existence in recent years and the DRHE and our partner agencies will be endeavouring in the coming months to bring the necessary expanded scrutiny and regulation to all such organisations.
“It is important to state that we are not referring to the larger and more established charities that we fund/partner and who we rely very much upon to provide vital accommodation and support services to homeless persons in Dublin by way of comprehensive service level agreements.
“While we do contract a range of homeless service NGOs to provide certain specialist services for the DRHE, ICHH was not a provider of services for us and received no funding from us.
“In relation to the ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ organisation we expect the investigative report commissioned by the former Chair of ICHH (we commend him for doing this) to be published soon and we expect that the Garda investigations on the allegations made will continue and that the outcome of this will also be published in due course.
“We expect that the Charities Regulator will investigate the current deficit in overall governance at the organisation.
“The DRHE is now strongly of the view that the organisation/charity ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ should be dissolved/wound up in an orderly way and as quickly as possible.
“Any remaining services provided by ICHH can easily be transitioned into other service providers and the DRHE can assist in that process.
“Most important is that if there are any further victims out there, it is essential that they contact the Gardaí or if they require professional support and advice, they should contact the Dublin Region Homeless Executive/HSE.
“Over the past 12 months or more there has been a plentiful supply of emergency accommodation for homeless persons and currently there is an adequate number of beds in the system to cater for all who require such accommodation in Dublin.”
Support Service for Victims 087 3266630
Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778 888
Homeless Freephone 1800 707 707
Dublin Region Homeless Executive (General Enquiries) 01 222 6611
Dublin Simon Outreach Service 01 872 0185
Dublin City Council 01 222 2222