The former Dominican Church and Priory in Athy
The Peter Mc Verry Trust and Kildare County Council has created a family hub for emergency accommodation at the priory of the former Dominican Church in Athy.
This service will have on site supports, seven individual family units, four kitchens, three laundries, a large garden and children’s play area to ensure that the families are fully facilitated whilst in transition to their new homes.
In 2016 Kildare County Council acquired the former Dominican Church in Athy, together with associated buildings, including the former priory. To help combat the rising homelessness crisis in Kildare, Kildare County Council entered into a partnership with Peter McVerry Trust, to develop a family hub in the priory building, to provide emergency accommodation to families.
In welcoming the development of the family hub in The Priory, Peter Carey, Chief Executive of Kildare County Council said, “It is great to see this facility being delivered in the county, which is the outcome of a positive approach through partnership with Peter McVerry Trust. The long-term solution to the current homelessness issue is to increase supply of homes, however, in the interim there is a need for appropriate emergency/transition accommodation, particularly for families.”
Peter McVerry Trust is a charity set up by Fr Peter McVerry to reduce homelessness and the harm caused by drug misuse and social disadvantage. Since December 2014, Peter McVerry Trust has operated supported temporary accommodation services in County Kildare, on behalf of Kildare County Council. This service, which will now be extended to The Priory, provides high quality accommodation with professional on site supports to adults experiencing homelessness in the county.
Peter McVerry Trust will work with families during their stay in The Priory to assist them in finding longer term accommodation to meet their family’s needs. Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said, “Peter McVerry Trust is delighted to be playing its part in providing appropriate accommodation for people who are currently experiencing homelessness as part of this new Family Hub in Athy . We would like to thank Kildare County Council for their ongoing support in this important partnership.”
The hub is described as an early solution to address the numbers of families in emergency accommodation and to deliver inter-agency supports for people who are homeless.
In recent years the instances of homelessness in County Kildare has increased. It is recognised that homelessness is often the result of a number of inter-related social and economic issues. Kildare County Council will be liaising with Peter McVerry Trust in the near future with regard to nominating families to the Hub in The Priory for emergency accommodation.