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  • Northside West

Homeless hostel sparks anger in Cabra

Thursday, 21st December, 2017 8:00am
Homeless hostel sparks anger in Cabra

HomelessConcept.jpg

Homeless hostel sparks anger in Cabra

HomelessConcept.jpg

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Adam Daly

THE new Peter McVerry Trust homeless hostel on New Cabra Road was given the green light before locals were properly consulted, the Cabra Road Residents’ Association has claimed.

Locals say lack of consultation from Dublin City Council and the McVerry Trust has meant support for the facility, that will sleep 60, is strained in the area. 

‘’From our perspective, we’re not against homeless people coming to the area; it’s the way things are,” a spokesperson for Cabra Road Residents’ Association told Northside People. “All communities have to do their bit.

“The size of the thing and the fact that it was kind of sprung on us is the issue. Sixty people are going into three terrace houses on a street with neighbours on either side - that’s a lot in three houses.’’

The Peter McVerry Trust admitted the consultation process for the facility was rushed because the Minister for Housing launched the cold weather strategy at short notice.

“It wasn't the best way to start relations with the community and it shouldn't have happened in that manner but we are committed to working with them very closely, as the service rolls out initially’,’ Francis Doherty, Head of Communications at the Peter McVerry Trust said.

The facility on the New Cabra Road will open before Christmas in the houses that were previously the Churchview Nursing Home.

Services will include 24-hour access beds, a minimum of a six-month stay and support from a keyworker to move on into accommodation. 

At a meeting held recently between the residents’ association, the McVerry Trust and the Homeless Executive, locals raised their concerns about the kind of people that the facility might attract and the behaviour outside of the building. 

‘’We have no doubt that the McVerry Trust will run a good ship, but it's the stuff that happens outside the building that's really a concern,” the residents’ spokesperson said.

To combat concerns, the McVerry Trust has given the residents’ association a direct line to its Director of Services, so if any issues arise they can be dealt with straight away. 

‘’We have protocols in place, that staff from the Peter McVerry Trust do regular checks of the immediate area to see if any of the residents are congregating or engaged in any inappropriate behaviour,” Doherty said.

There will also be monthly meetings between the McVerry Trust and the community while the facility is in operation. 

According to Ray McAdam, a Fine Gael councillor, it is a wider scale issue than just the Cabra Road area.

‘’This is no way for the council or the Homeless Executive to act or even for homeless agencies like the PMCVT,” he said.

“When there is no information, that creates a vacuum, and then there are all sorts of concerns and anxieties.”

Cllr McAdams said he found out about the facility the day before it was announced in the national media.

“Most residents only found out after I circulated the information,” he said.

“In the future we have to make sure that communities that are going to have these facilities have plenty of notice.”

 

 

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