'Focus Point' publish a report on the state of homelessness in Ireland and the profile of the homeless person is changing.

The general perception of homeless people is that they are middle-aged men who have decided to drop out. However, the report shows that the homeless are not always alcoholic male drop-outs with more and more young people sleeping rough.

Nobody knows how many people sleep on the streets.

The only way to get any indication of the number of homeless is by looking at the statistics on the use of homeless hostels. In 1986, 3,204 people left a hostel but 4,704 moved in. In total 6,492 people were homeless.

At the moment on the streets of Dublin, thousands of people who are homeless are under the age of 20.

According to the report, these new young homeless people often live in derelict buildings and squats. Sister Stanislaus Kennedy of Focus Point highlights that there is no place to go for people between the ages of 12 and 18 and they are left to the services of the street which are,

Male and female prostitution, drugs, drink and violence, squats, derelict houses, dossing. That's the reality.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Carmencita Hederman comments on the report's findings saying that we have outdated solutions to a problem which is ever-changing.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 July 1987. The reporter is Gerry Reynolds.