28 Sept 2022

Long term rough sleepers given supported housing in Laois

Supported homes given in Laois to long term homeless

Image by Pixabay

Five long term homeless people have been given homes with back up support in Laois for the first time by the Peter McVerry Trust.

Entrenched rough sleepers have been given housing in five locations in Laois in 2020, along with "wraparound supports" to ensure that the vulnerable people with complex needs can manage to remain off the streets again.

The Peter McVerry Trust this week announced that it has met its Housing First target in the Midlands for 2020. In its first year after signing a new three-year contract, the national housing and homeless charity has created 11 Housing First tenancies across the Midlands.

In Laois their target has been met and more than doubled.

"For Housing First in year one (2020) of the three year contract was 2 tenancies. We exceeded this target by securing 5 Housing First tenancies in the county last year," a spokesperson confirmed.

Pat Doyle is CEO of Peter McVerry Trust.

“We are delighted to have reached our target for Housing First across the Midlands in 2020, with the support of Westmeath, Offaly, Laois and Longford county councils and the HSE. We are working hard to not only meet our targets but exceed them.

“Housing First is a housing service for entrenched rough sleepers which puts housing front and centre and focuses on getting each individual a key to the door. This model is different because it shifts away from the emergency hostel model and provides wraparound supports once a person is housed, to make every success of each new tenancy generated. It is hugely successful at not only providing housing for complex cases but ensuring they remain housed years later," the CEO said.

The Midlands Housing First contract is 5% of the national target and comes in under the Housing First National Implementation Plan, which is led by Bob Jordan, National Director of Housing First, and is funded through Rebuilding Ireland.

On future plans for the region, Pat Doyle said it aims to offer another 23 tenancies in the midlands by 2022. 

“Our target up to the end of 2022 for the Midlands Housing First contract is to generate a minimum of 34 new tenancies. Over the next two years, we will continue to work with the most vulnerable people impacted by homelessness in each of the four counties in the Midlands to get them off the street, out of hostels and into a secure home of their own.”

In Co. Westmeath last year, three Housing First tenancies were secured, also meeting the target set for the county for 2020. Mick, one of the three tenancies secured, received the keys to his own home in Kilbeggan in December last year after spending three years in homelessness:

“I found out Christmas week, the day before Christmas Eve from the keyworker that she had a surprise for me. She had an apartment for me to move into for Christmas so I was over the moon.”

“I wouldn’t be able to do anything and everything on my own so it’s true I’ve a good keyworker and it’s through the Peter McVerry Trust that I got housed. I’m in my own apartment and I can look after myself.”

See the Peter McVerry Trust website here. 

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