The lack of available housing, high rents, families evicted due to financlial issues coupled with a growing economy attravting new migrants, has resulting in Cork City being unable to provide accomodation for all of its inhabitant. As a society we cannot assume someone else will look after them, No complex problem has an easy solution, but sometimes we just need to work toether to override intertia.
It is very disheartening to see so many homeless people sleeping in doorways on our main streeets. Have we created such bureacuctaric structures that we cannot provide some form of emergency accomodation for homeless people? Its cold, wet and winter is here. We wouldnt let our own sons and daughters suffer the indignities that the homeless people are facing daily in our city.
What does it take to get local government to implement some fast working initiatives to show that Cork can, and will ,solve such socal problems. The S.H.A.R.E. program started by Brother Jerome is an example of success Cork people have had helping older people.
The old tax office on Georges Quay has become derelict. Some youths have caused a fire to break out again recently and its corporate owners have said that the building is due for demolotion. Could such a building not be temporarily taken over by the City and renovated to a degree that provided basic sanitary conditions and a bed for the homeless. Other landmark buildings are being burnt to the ground by 'youths'. The old tax Office is centrally located and simple protocols could be enforced to make sure that it is run effectively (safe, clean, aided by community support if required for clothering / bed linen etc).
This is just one of several buildings that could, if there was a will, be upgraeded to provide a some basic conditions and restore some human dignity. Ireland has lots of volunteers who go to places like South africa to build houses for the homeless. We won't be short labour or will power. Emergency renovations are not a long term solution, but it could help prevent homeless people having to sleep in doorways on out streets and provide some place to spend a night in a safe, warm and hospitable environment?
Are large corporates so focussed on providing home's for the 'haves' that the 'have nots' will be sidelined. Are we as Corkconians happy to sit back and complain and do nothing? While Ireland eagerly turns its face towards modernism and materialism, we must at least ensure we do not forget our charitable heritage born of saints and scholars. Who cares what the excuses are, who cares if it is difficult? Let us find a solution works and swiftly remove any obstacles that might be created.
The Intermediate housing for Cork homeless e.g., old Tax Office petition to Cork was written by Dan Gallagher and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.