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Homeless charities concerned at closure of shelters

By Sean Ryan - 29 April, 2016

blurred homeless man

Homeless charities have expressed surprise and concern about the planned closure of a rough sleeper facility in Dublin.

Bru Aimsir opened in December at the Digital Hub in Dublin. The building, which caters for 100 people, is full every night, according to those working with the homeless.

It is understood the landlord does not intend to renew the lease, which expires this week.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, told RTE that it was a “very sudden closure” which will be felt on the streets on Dublin.

He called on the stakeholders to come together and negotiate an orderly wind-down, on a phased basis, so that new provision for the homeless people using the facility can be arranged.

“Like in any sector, like a hospital, you can’t just close a casualty and withdraw 100 beds, and we can’t have 100 beds going out overnight,” said Mr Doyle.

The board of the Digital Hub Development Agency confirmed that the Bru Aimsir centre will close on 30 April.

The agency said it is pleased it was in a position to provide the emergency shelter but, as per its leasing arrangements, it will close on Saturday.

Coupled with this, an emergency homeless hostel with 42 beds run by Focus Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust, is to close by the end of next month, to allow for development of the site.

John’s Lane West was originally opened after the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie, and remained open at the request of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.

However, planning permission was granted to develop 31 apartments for people who are long-term homeless.

Director of Advocacy for Focus Ireland Mike Allen confirmed that attempts are under way to find alternative accommodation for users of the hostel.

He said, “While we are working to ensure that all the emergency beds which will be lost by the closure of John’s Lane are replaced, we have been particularly working to identify suitable accommodation for around 13 people who have been regular users of the service and are particularly vulnerable.”

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