A group working with the homeless has said the situation is worse than it ever has been.

The Peter McVerry Trust said the majority of those using its service were aged between 18 and 35, but the youngest person it assisted was 13.

After 30 years of working to eliminate homelessness, the trust said the problem is now worse than ever, perhaps even out of control.

According to its 2012 annual report, there were 5,000 homeless people in Ireland last year.

The trust said that 80% of those who availed of its services were men, most were single or separated and 74% were aged between 18 and 35.

Seven new cases of homelessness were recorded every day in Dublin last year, but only three of those could be accommodated daily.

The trust housed 155 people last year and, in conjunction with other organisations such as Simon, a total of 800 homeless people were rehoused in 2012.