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Tag Archives: homeless

Fundraising Christmas Choir returns to Ennis after its Covid-enforced break

A FESTIVE concert with a jam-packed line up of talent from Clare and beyond will raise funds to support the vulnerable this Christmas. For the past few years campaigner Josie O’Brien has organised a concert in glór to raise awareness of homelessness while also raising funds to purchase food hampers for those in need. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19, however the ‘Christmas Choir’ concert will return on December 18 of this year. Luka Bloom will feature as special guest alongside plenty more acclaimed talent, including Mike Hanrahan; The Fiddle Case; Eoin O’Neill and Clara Buteler; Sarah Ryan; Anne Rynne; Trevor Hansbury; John Fennell (Sean Nós); Sara Ryan (Sean Nós); Steo Wall: Fay Moloney and the Cork Penny Dinners High Hopes Choir with more guests to be announced. There will also be pre-concert music in the foyer with singer Susanne Murphy accompanied by Fiona Faulkes on piano. Kevyn Murphy is Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Josie told …

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Simon’s plan to house Clare’s single homeless people

Clann Nua project had successful trial in Limerick AN innovative project aimed at tackling an accommodation shortage for single homeless people has been introduced to Clare. Mid-West Simon Community over the past few weeks has worked with Clare County Council to introduce the Tenancy Sustainment project throughout Ennis. Clann Nua meaning New Family was developed by Mid-West Simon Community in response to the shortage of single unit property which is resulting in single people having to remain in emergency accommodation for longer than necessary. Jackie Bonfield, CEO of Mid-West Simon Community said, “Clann Nua provides the opportunity for two or more previously homeless people to share one permanent rental housing unit. “These are acquired through CAS/RAS funding or through the Clare County Council long-term social lease with a private landlord.” Mid-West Simon started the initiative in the summer of 2020 with the backing of Limerick City and County Council and showing great success the programme is now being rolled out …

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Call for Joint Policing sub-committee to tackle anti-social behaviour in Ennis

ENNIS is “becoming a problem area” with calls being made for the setting up of a special Joint Policing sub-committee with a specific focus on the county capital. This week’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District saw councillors raise concerns about anti-social behaviour which has been linked to the use of tourist buildings as homeless accommodation. Residents of Hermitage and Considine’s Terrace in Ennis have reported anti-social behaviour including incidences of drug dealing and intimidation associated with some living in Ashford Court under the Winter Initiative Project. While concerns have also been raised about residents at Westbrook House, a former bed and breakfast on the Gort Road being used for emergency accommodation. Councillor Johnny Flynn raised the issue at the meeting, requesting a report on the planning and development status of the ongoing homeless and emergency accommodation use of tourist accommodation buildings at both Ashford Court, and Westbrook.  He insisted that all councillors are “fully committed” to providing social housing. However …

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“I’m afraid to walk past on my own” Fear among Ennis residents

THERE is tension in the Hermitage area of Ennis at the moment, with anger among residents at some of the behaviour that has been associated with the Ashford Court. Homeless people have been housed there for some time under the Winter Initiative project, designed to help rough sleepers. One woman said that there has been a lot of problematic behaviour in recent weeks. “It used to be a boutique hotel, you’d have had a lot of stags and hens there, and as residents we didn’t mind, they weren’t causing any issues. But the carry on that you’ve had lately is just disgraceful.” She said that there has been drug dealing in the vicinity. “You see people hanging around waiting to sell drugs or buy the drugs from someone there. The language, the vulgarity, I’d say they are so off their face they don’t realise it.” In general, there has been a very serious level of anti social behaviour in the …

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Working full time but seven months homeless-the plight of a Shannon healthcare assistant

A HEALTHCARE assistant in Shannon is currently living in his car, with apparently little prospect of finding a place to live in the town. James McCarthy now sleeps in his Toyota Yaris, while he feeds himself with fast food. Although he has been estranged from his wife for years and they are divorced, she allows him to take showers at her house. He said that he has tried to get accommodation in homeless hostels, but there isn’t a place available, particularly with Covid prevalent. While he works full time in a role that requires Garda vetting on a regular basis, he feels that his membership of the Travelling community counts against him when it comes to renting accommodation. “They still look at me as a McCarthy knacker from Limerick. I’m not known to the Gardai, I’m a quiet man, I’ve never blackguarded anyone, but people watch things,they see things, and this is what they think.” He left his last house …

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Homeless figures on the rise

THERE has been an increase in the number of adults accessing emergency accommodation in Clare in the past month. Department of Housing figures for the period September 21-27 show there were 67 adults in the county in emergency accommodation, up from 60 the previous month. The homelessness report also indicates a total of 67 dependents in emergency accommodation across the Clare-Limerick area. Chief Executive of Mid West Simon Jackie Bonfield said there are reasons to believe that homelessness will be an increasing problem in the coming months. “If there is one person homeless it is one person too many and we are expecting it to get worse because a lot of people will be in difficulty because of having lost their jobs and because of Covid. “There has been a stay on evictions but that doesn’t protect everybody. If somebody is part of a household and the family unit breaks down, it doesn’t protect the person who has to leave …

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St Vincent de Paul to transfer management of Ennis hostel

THE Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has announced that it is planning to transfer the management of hostels including Laurel Lodge in Ennis to other homeless charities with specialist expertise in the sector. The society says that it believes that the move will benefit those who use the services of its hostels as managing homeless hostels is moving beyond the capacity of a volunteer-led organisation such as SVP. As most of the funding for the hostels comes from the state SVP is in discussion with the respective local authorities and the HSE to facilitate the transfer of its services. There are nine hostels involved which between them have almost 300 beds per night for homeless people. In addition to Laurel Lodge in Ennis they are in, Carlow, Cork (2), Limerick, Longford, (2) Waterford and Wexford. Laurel Lodge provides 13 places for homeless men. SVP National Secretary Andy Heffernan says that as a volunteer-led organisation, the SVP structure is …

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50 households in Clare exited homeless services since introduction of HAT

50 households have exited homeless services since the introduction of the Homeless Action Team, a meeting of Clare County Council has revealed. Latest figures have highlighted that as of August 21, 2020 there were 62 new homeless presentations in the county, and 339 repeat presentations. Details were outlined following a query by Councillor Donna McGettigan seeking “the true figures” for the homeless situation in Clare by area. She stated that she has been contacted by people are living on couches, asking what is the council’s plan to “end homelessness”. Anne Haugh, director of social development detailed it is not possible to breakdown the homeless list by area. The figures showed 15 homeless families receiving emergency accommodation as at August 21. There were 60 adults and 21 dependants. She outlined that the Homeless Action Team was introduced on February 1, 2019. From that date until December 31, 2019 a total of 26 households, made up of 33 adults and 36 dependants …

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