Peter McVerry Trust to take over youth homeless facility
Dublin 8 unit will continue to serve 18 to 26-year-olds and will remain ‘drug free’ chief executive Pat Doyle says
Fr Peter McVerry. His trust will next week take over the running of St Catherine’s Foyer, near St James’s Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
The Peter McVerry Trust has moved to dispel fears over changes to a homeless hostel in Dublin’s southwest inner city.
The trust will next week take over the running of St Catherine’s Foyer, a Dublin City Council-owned facility for homeless young people on Marrowbone Lane, near St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8.
The 48-bed unit opened in 2004 under the management of Cara Housing Association as a drug-free, supported housing facility for 18- to 26-year-olds. However, the association is ending its management of the facility next week, after which it will be run by the the Peter McVerry Trust.
City councillors and local community representatives had raised concerns that the unit, which is part of a sports and community facility, would be used by older homeless people, some of whom could have alcohol or drug problems, or criminal records.
However, trust chief executive Pat Doyle said the unit’s client base would not be changed.
“There is a need in this area for specific provision for young people aged 18 to 26, so this will not be turned into a general provision facility.”
He said the trust had only recently been confirmed as the new service provider for the unit and so had been unable until now to comment on its plans for the facility. The only change would be that young people would be accommodated for a period of six to nine months instead of the current two years.
“The new pathway model for dealing with homelessness is a housing-led approach. The idea is that people would stay with us for six to nine months and then move on to more permanent forms of housing.”
Mr Doyle said the trust was “not in the business of making people homeless”, and so those who were not ready after that point to live independently would be accommodated in some of the trust’s other supported facilities.