Kildare's first family hub opened in Athy

Emergency accomodation

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

First family hub opened in Athy

Cllr Ivan Yeates, Minister Eoghan Murphy TD, Martin Heydon TD and Mayor Martin Miley

The first family hub in Kildare was formally opened by Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, in Athy this morning.

Nestled on the banks of the Barrow on the grounds of the former Dominican Church the hub currently houses three families and ten children in emergency accomodation.

 

However the new service, which is operated by Peter McVerry Trust in partnership with Kildare County Council, can provide short term emergency accommodation for up to seven homeless families.

The recently appointed Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy promised that the government would build more homes to address the current shortage by 2020.

“Hubs are not the solution but they are a better solution for families than hotels,” he said adding that they are no way comparable to direct provision as each unit is a private self contained family space.

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Peter McVerry Trust’s CEO Pat Doyle said the hub is a short term solution for families who want to get out of homelessness.

“It is actually very expensive to be homeless,” he said.

“It is unhealthy and it is costly. The three families living here will be moved on over the next six months back into private accomodation. We have received a warm welcome in Athy and the Dominicans are delighted to see their former facility being put to good use. The hub offers much better quality accommodation than a hotel or B&B and each family will have a dedicated key worker to help them during their stay.”

He added that the family hub will offer families  a safe and secure space.

“Each family will have their own self-contained bedroom and living room units and share a kitchen and laundry facilities with one other family. We have put in place children’s play areas and the site offers residents access to large private garden space as well.”

Chief Executive of Kildare County Council Peter Carey said that family hubs are a new model of accommodation for families experiencing homelessness, designed to help families be in a better position to move into their own homes.