In 2015, President Higgins marked the 100th anniversary of the Back Lane Hostel, to pay tribute to the organisation supporting homeless men in Dublin City.
In his speech, the President said:
"I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to those working in the homeless sector, and indeed all of those who have worked in this sector over the years, for their dedication in responding to the grave issue of homelessness. Embedded in local communities all over the country, the staff and volunteers working at Backlane and other such facilities nationwide are engaged in some of the most important and valuable work in our society.
On the eve of World Homelessness Day, tomorrow 10th October, it is important to recognise that these are challenging times for all those involved in tackling homelessness. It is a saddening and stark reality that homeless accommodation is very much in demand today as it was in generations past. As President I have visited many homeless services over the past four years and I have spoken about the issue of homelessness on many occasions. I have made the point on each of these occasions about how our treatment of those who find themselves without a safe and adequate home must be the standard by which we measure the quality of our society and our community. I have expressed my own deep concern that when we see the level of need in our society today, we cannot and we must not accept homelessness as something tolerable in a wealthy developed society."