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Dylan and Stephen at the Bru Aimsir hostel in the Digital Hub on Thomas Street, Dublin
Nick Bradshaw (Irish Times)
‘Cold weather initiative’ hostel Bru Aimsir to stay open
Those of you following the news will know that Bru Aimsir capacity to
provide night shelter for 101 rough sleepers was reduced to 36 bed at the
start of May. This was followed by a sit in protest by Bru residents who
wanted to continue using this shelter as opposed to rough sleeping.
The Digital Hub Development Agency (a state agency) had leased the empty warehouse to the DCC for the winter months and now wanted it back. The local authority along with Crosscare reinvented it as a modern looking & well run night shelter for homeless people who did not have more secure accommodation.
By mid-April over 1000 individuals had stayed at Bru Aimsir since its opening in November. The hostel didn’t simply provide shelter at night but Crosscare staff and a range of other homeless sector organisations worked intensively with people to move them into more secure accommodation. People accessed one of approximately 60 nightly beds by phoning the central placement service free phone number. Another 40 beds were ring fenced as ‘rolling’ beds for people who were guaranteed a bed until the Crosscare assertive outreach team could organise more secure accommodation for them. In this way 200 people were moved on from the night shelter to more secure tenancies.
The Safetynet and North Dublin City GP Training Programme (NDCGP) clinic at the shelter provided much needed access to this vulnerable population. It was worrying for all concerned in this successful services that the planned closure was to go ahead. Much more importantly it was a major concern for those who used the service. In order to capture the views of those who would be most impacted by the hostel closure, volunteers from NDCGP, medical students from UCD and health and community workers (TCD) conducted the Bru Service Users Say survey and shared this with those negotiating to keep the facility open.
Seventy six percent of those surveyed said they did not know where they would go if the shelter closed. All were very satisfied with the service.
Calls to keep the facility open for homeless rough sleepers came from leaders including Senator Lynn Ruane (who assisted in the survey) and the Minister for Housing Simon Coveney.
Health E Quality is happy to report that as of 10th June the Bru Aimsir Shelter has increased to full capacity. It is not clear how long the lease has been extended for but we understand that there is no immediate pressure to close the facility.
(PHE Staff writers: Uploaded 13.06.16)