DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL OFFICIALLY OPENS HOMELESS ACCOMMODATION SERVICE FOR 100 PERSONS

Core service of the Annual Cold Weather Initiative 2015/2016 for persons who are/or at risk of rough sleeping

Dublin City Council officially opened Brú Aimsir, today, (November 20 2015), one of the core services of the Cold Weather Initiative (CWI) in Dublin 8.

The service is provided by Dublin City Council and the state-funded organisation Crosscare has operational responsibility for the day-to-day management of the service.

The CWI is in place to provide a humanitarian response to persons, who are at risk of rough sleeping, with the aim of preventing fatalities and/or serious harm from cold weather temperatures.

The service will provide accommodation for 80 single men and separately for 20 single women.

All referrals and bookings into the service, are managed by Dublin City Council’s Homeless Central Placement Service.

Persons accessing the service will be provided with a light meal in the evening and breakfast in the morning. Showers and laundry facilities will also be available.
A range of health supports will be available on-site, including nursing, GP cover, and holistic therapies.

Voluntary groups are participating in the delivery of social and recreational activities including art, photography, music, etc

The 100 single beds in Brú Aimsir are in addition to a further delivery of:

  • 75 ringfenced beds across all homeless services in Dublin region
  • 20 single beds (extreme cold weather service)
  • 37 family units
  • 18 couple units
  • 80 additional rooms for families currently being confirmed

Photos of the new facility have been sent to your picture desk. For copies of photos or any further information, please contact:
Lisa Kelleher
Head of Communications and Training, Dublin Region Homeless Executive
E: lisa.kelleher@dublincity.ie 01 222 6891/ 087 6154673

NOTES TO EDITOR

INCREASED SUPPORT LEVELS FOR COLD WEATHER INITIATIVE

1. OPERATION OF HOUSING FIRST INTAKE TEAM
The Housing First Intake Team will be operating from 7am to 1am every day and will extend service as daily needs arise. The Intake service transport available to the team to assist in supporting vulnerable people who are sleeping rough to access accommodation.

2. ROUGH SLEEPER REPORTING
This reporting process can be employed by anyone encountering a person who is rough sleeping, and will alert the Housing First Intake Team as to the exact whereabouts of the rough sleeper so that the team can engage with them at that location.
http://www.homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper#1

3. HSE COLD WEATHER INITIATIVE
The HSE is supporting the primary health care needs of people availing of the cold weather facility through SafetyNet who will provide a range of services including GP consultations, vaccination and health screening

4. CONVERTING ONE NIGHT ONLY BEDS INTO SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION
A strong emphasis is being put on improving progression options for persons; by converting a sizeable number of existing one night only beds into supported accommodation options as well as increasing capacity for the CWI target group specifically Cedar House, Crosscare and Grantham Mews, Peter Mc Verry Trust.

5. DAY SERVICES AND NIGHT CAFÉ
The Capuchin Centre has extended his early opening hours to 7am. Merchants Quay Ireland breakfast service is available from 7.30 and the Night Café is open all night. Focus Ireland Coffee Shop, Mendicity Day Services etc are all operating day services during the cold weather period.

6. ASSERTIVE ENGAGEMENT
Assertive engagement with one night only services in the Dublin region to ensure that persons most consistently using homeless accommodation services on a night by night basis can be engaged with to identify progression requirements.

7. GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE
A Guide to Good Practice for Street Outreach Teams has been developed in partnership with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Dublin City Council Homeless Services Central Placement Service (CPS) and the Housing First (HF) Team (Focus Ireland and Peter Mc Verry Trust) and a range of volunteer groups who are currently providing street engagement. This guide clarifies roles and appropriate interventions: what to do and what not to do, and also promotes effective communication between outreach volunteer groups, HF and CPS/ Freephone services. The aim is to ensure best practice is clear, and to improve progression options and outcomes for people who may be rough sleeping.

8. GARDA LIAISON WITH HOMELESS SERVICES
A protocol has been developed by Dublin City Council and An Garda Síochána to enhance communication and coordination between Gardai, Housing First, and CPS, with a view to improving outcomes for people who may be rough sleeping.

IN ADDITION TO THE COLD WEATHER INITIATIVE

  • 500 modular housing units to be delivered in the Dublin region in 2016 to provide temporary accommodation for families who are currently in commercial hotels
  • 739 household exited from homeless accommodation into verified tenancy arrangements (Data: January to September 2015)
  • 1,346 tenancies have been prevented from becoming homelessness as a result of the Tenancy Protection Service provided by Threshold on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities (Data: June 2014 (initiation of service) to September 2015)
  • 61 tenancies (Data: 3/11/2015) through the implementation of the Homeless Housing Assistance Payment Pilot.
  • 65 family units in place in Tallaght Cross with onsite support provided via Focus Ireland and housing management services provided by Tuath AHB.
  • 2,119 beds occupied across all forms of emergency accommodation including commercial hotels (Data: 30/09/2015)
  • 1425 child dependents accommodated through homeless services in Dublin region (Data: 19th – 25th October 2015).
  • Consistent efforts through the local authority leasing initiative to source private rented accommodation and efforts through the dedicated local authority Place Finders Service.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE COLD WEATHER INITIATIVE

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive, a shared service of Dublin City Council have overall responsibility for the co-ordination of the CWI from an operational perspective on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities and the following are central to the effective delivery of the Cold Weather Initiative:

  • Dublin Local Authority Homeless Placement Services (including the homeless Helpline)
  • State- funded voluntary services residential providers (NGOs)
  • Dublin Housing First Intake Team (i.e. assertive street outreach team and transport service)
  • Health Service Executive
  • An Garda Síochána (Dublin Metropolitan Region)
  • Tusla
  • Civil Defence
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