Emergency homeless and addiction supports must be extended post-Covid, say services

 Emergency measures enabled people to move out of shared accommodation and into isolation, cocooning, and step-down units.

In the Dublin region alone an additional 1,000 beds in hotels and tourist apartments were provided for singles, couples, and families during the lockdown.

The measures "minimised" viral transmission and meant there were no Covid-19 deaths among those availing of drug and homeless services.

Access to methadone treatment programmes also improved, with waiting times falling from 12 weeks to five days and around 600 people accessing treatment.

In a submission to government, the frontline services said the emergency response was a "significant step forward" and should continue given the possibility of a second Covid-19 wave.Chief Executive Officer of Depaul, David Carroll said: "The existing provision of apartments and hotel rooms should continue for the rest of the year, with people moved into long-term sustainable homes as quickly as possible,"

Chief Executive of Merchants Quay Ireland, Paula Byrne, added there was a "huge uptake" for opiate treatment programmes during the lockdown: "That was a positive step and we'd like that to continue so that people can access services and support when they need it."

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