Apartments for homeless people to be built in Naas

Development

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

Apartments for homeless people to be built in Naas

The roundabout at Bundle of Sticks, Naas (Google image)

Planning approval has been given for a development of apartments for homeless adults on the outskirts of Naas.

The development will consist of a dozen studio apartments to be built near the Bundle of Sticks, on the Newbridge side of Naas.

Kildare County Council has given permission for the project which also proposes the conversion of an existing dwelling and stables into a training facility with ancillary accommodation which will include  an office, meeting rooms, training facilities, staff accommodation and games room with a single storey extension off the existing dwelling to incorporate kitchen/dining facilities.

The original application was modified to change the site entrance from the east side to the west side of the site as well as moving the location of the car park.

The application was made by Homeless Care, a charity established in Naas in 2014 to provide  care and facilities for young adults primarily in the age bracket of 18-25 years (though in some instances the clients may be older than 25).

It was set up by Naas business people including engineer John Cradock, former ESB chief Padraig McManus, former FBD branch manager Tim O'Connell and Gerry Prendergast, who was associated with the Millennium Park development.

According to Mr. Cradock it is hoped to start work on the facility by the end of this year and it could be open by Easter 2018 - but this timeframe could change depending on whether permission is appealed to An Bord Pleanala or how soon State funding comes through to pay for it.

To date the group has depended on donations and fundraising to get the project this far.

When they open it, it will be run by a licencee, likely to be a specialist charity organisation. Homeless Care is in discussions with three potential partners and the clients will stay there for no more than two years.

The facility will be managed by a social care worker.

No exact costings are available but it’s likely that the centre will have a total price tag of €2.5m.

“This is a Kildare project for Kildare people; all of the clients will be Kildare homeless people,” added Mr. Cradock.

The initiative will see that the young people who use the facility are trained before being reintroduced to society and it was a response to the fact that many people come out of State care aged 18 and are then left to care for themselves.