Taoiseach Enda Kenny spent three hours in Dublin city centre last night meeting homeless people and providing assistance to them.

He was accompanied by Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Christy Burke.

Mr Burke said they encountered homeless people from different counties and from different backgrounds, including a former architect, a former train driver and a former model.

He said he is confident that 200 beds for the homeless will be delivered before Christmas with the first of those becoming available within seven days.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly earlier outlined plans to tackle homelessness in the capital in the short term to ensure anyone who is homeless has access to a bed.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Kelly insisted his announcement yesterday to provide 200 additional beds in Dublin was not a political strategy.

Mr Kelly’s pledge came following his attendance at the Government's special forum on homelessness at the Custom House in Dublin, aimed at tackling the crisis of people sleeping out on the streets in the capital.

Taoiseach spends evening with Dublin Lord Mayor visiting city's homeless

The growing homelessness problem was brought back into the spotlight this week, following the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie outside Leinster House

This morning, Mr Kelly said that everything was being done in the capital to ensure anyone who is on the streets would have a bed and that he wanted that replicated across the country.

"We are going to put in various different coordination teams working with all the NGOs," he said.

"We are going to work with them to ensure that from a comprehensive point of view that we cover every part of the city and that the services that are provided are embellished and in any way in which the local authority are working in particular.

"It is not a case of resources not being put in, whatever resources can be put in the short term will be," he said.

He also said that mechanisms were in place to deal with the issue or rising rents, which is affecting thousands of families.

Mr Kelly said an increase in rent allowance for some people is already happening in some situations where agencies are liaising with landlords on behalf of the tenants.

He said this needs to be replicated across the country.

"Currently in Dublin there is a protocol in place whereby people who are in a vulnerable situation, it is operated by Threshold on behalf of everyone, who go and negotiate with landlords and with the ESB and in some cases obviously rent supplement increase is the solution.

"What we need is to replicate this across the country so there is one standard and those who need an increase in rent supplement get it," he added.

Homeless campaigner Father Peter McVerry has said he would be very hopeful that the 200 extra beds promised by the Government for the homeless will come on stream soon.

He said it would make a huge difference to the number of people sleeping rough.

However, speaking on RTÉ's News at One programme, Father McVerry said he would have a question about the quality of the beds.

"I would have a question about the quality of the beds. Currently much of the emergency accommodation is dormitory style and if the new 200 beds are going to continue to be dormitory style then you're going to have a lot of homeless people who will just refuse to go into them because they feel they are too dangerous and they will continue to sleep on the streets."

Father McVerry said he hoped homeless people would be given a bed for a week or a month at a time instead of the current situation where they have to ring up daily to see if one is available.

However, he questioned whether the new measures will be enough to deal with the increased numbers of people becoming homeless.

He said it is currently estimated that six new people are becoming homeless in Ireland every day.