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Homeless charity, Home Sweet Home, have cancelled a vigil for Jack Watson after it emerged he was a registered sex offender.

The homeless man was found unconscious outside a shop on Suffolk Street at around 4am last Thursday.

He was then taken by ambulance to St. James' Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

According to reports, Jack Watson, 50s, had a number of aliases and had been deported from Australia in October 2015.

Mr Watson amassed a total of 40 convictions during his 19 years in Australia and reports suggest that he was jailed for 18 months in 2008 for the indecent assault of two young girls.

A statement from Home Sweet Home said the charity was “shocked at reports Mr Watson was deported from Australia for very serious crimes”.

A vigil which was due to take place outside Apollo House on Thursday has now been called off “out of respect for the victims of these crimes.”

However, the charity insisted that "this does not change the fact that many people have died as a result of our housing emergency. This is totally unacceptable and urgently needs to be addressed.”

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The Apollo House initiative brought major attention to the homelessness crisis in Dublin, and the Home Sweet Home organisation is continuing to shed light on the issue.

The latest video shared on the Home Sweet Home Facebook page showcases the realities of the services that are in place for homeless people in the capital. 

Homeless people in Dublin City are required to ring a free phone number to access a hostel for the night, and the video shows the process.

They are allocated a bed for the night, then have to leave the next morning.

Some homeless individuals interviewed in the short documentary have been waiting for a bed for 11 months.

Former Apollo House volunteers and filmographers Aura McMenamin, Conor Maguire and Sean Fitzgerald put the documentary together, hoping to spread awareness about the "dysfunctional" services.

"The Home Sweet Home media are trying to keep the momentum of Apollo House going," said documentary interviewer Aura McMenamin. 

"Simon Coveney and the HSH negotiators laid out seven points during the negotiations to leave Apollo House," continued Aura. "One of them was to ensure minimum standards in homeless hostels. Our video aims to show the poor conditions of Dublin's hostels."

"People recovering from addiction are put into wet hostels with active drugs users. People report violence and theft. On top of this, beds are allocated on a nightly basis and people must vacate the hostel in the morning without a place to stay during the day. Although HSH can't speak for all hostels, this is a recurring problem and prevents homeless people from having a basic quality of life."

"However, what was most interesting to me when deciding on the concept of the video was the difficulty in getting a bed through the Dublin City Council free phone. I had heard stories of apathy or even derision from phone line operators and the despair of being put in a calling queue for hours on end."

"People we interviewed complained about the way they are spoken to by one operator in particular. One woman was told that she couldn't have another sleeping bag (given to people in lieu of a bed) because she had gotten the last one wet after sleeping in the rain," she continued.

"There is a shortage of beds and a shortage of suitable hostels for people's various needs."

"We hope it makes an impact on people's perception of the homeless. Any notion that homeless people get an easy ride or are happily living off the welfare system is ridiculous."

The video has now been viewed thousands of times and shared across various social media platforms. 

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A deal has been struck between Minister for Housing Simon Coveney and a team of delegates from the Home Sweet Home initiative, who have been occupying Apollo House since December last year.

The campaigners have agreed to vacate the building on the condition that appropriate accommodation be found for the 40 homeless residents currently living there. 

As part of the deal, €4 million will also be spent on two new facilities for the homeless in Dublin.

The Minister also pledged that there will be no families left in commercial housing, such as B&Bs or hotels, by July 2017. 

Both Home Sweet Home and the Minister for Housing agreed that "Ireland is currently in the grips of a housing emergency," according to a statement released online by Home Sweet Home

The initiative has pledged to be a permanent fixture in the fight to end homelessness, and will have regular monthly meetings with Dublin City Council to discuss issues around homelessness in the country's capitol. 

Apollo House and it's residents were served with a notice to have vacated the premises by January 11. 

The Tara Street building is set for demolition in the new year, as it is part of a €50,000,000 plan of redevelopment for the area. 

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Apollo House was taken over by homelessness charity Home Sweet Home last week, and has since been providing food and warm beds to some of Ireland's more vulnerable citizens.

Today, the building waits on the result of a high court hearing, after receivers of the property have ordered the homeless people and volunteers to vacate the building, which has stood empty for almost six years.

The serving of papers came just hours after Glen Hansard, Hozier and members of Kodaline performed at the building to hundreds of people who turned out in support of the "act of civil disobedience." 

Now Aungier Danger are stepping up to show their support to the cause by creating their very own Home Sweet Home doughnut.

The batch of delicious pastries will go for €5, and all proceeds will be donated to the Home Sweet Home charity. 

 

A photo posted by Aungier Danger (@aungierdanger) on

Apollo House faces closure as the receivers, who were appointed by NAMA, believe there are serious health and safety concerns about the Tara Street premises and that it is unfit for residential use, according to RTE.

Today the High Court will hear that there are concerns about electricity, sanitation, water and  fire safety, and will decide whether or not to force the occupiers to vacate.

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