A NEW era of homeless services in Carlow will begin shortly with the closure of the St Vincent de Paul Hostel in Carlow.
Homeless shelters have been replaced with apartments in Carlow.
St Vincent de Paul has provided hostel accommodation for homeless men in Carlow for 30 years, but announced last year that he would be withdrawing from the area.
Depaul, a charity that St Vincent de Paul founded in 2002, will now lead the counseling service.
Carlow Co Council has secured long-term leases on nine apartments for Depaul in the town of Carlow, as well as additional units for Depaul staff.
The accommodation is expected to open by the end of the month.
(Depaul) has extensive experience in the area and they are going to bring that experience to Carlow, to help people who are in a very unfortunate situation. It is a positive result for the people of Carlow to have this facility available, ”said Brian O’Donovan, council housing manager.
Mr O’Donovan said homeless services nationwide are moving away from dormitory-type accommodation and B&B and hotel services.
“We are considering a model of ‘own front door’. People who need short-term emergency accommodation would have supports built around it, ”he said. “The aim would be for this to be short-term emergency accommodation with a view to securing more sustainable long-term accommodation.”
A maximum of 18 men and women will be accommodated in these new units. Children will not be placed in the accommodation. People who were previously accommodated in bed and breakfast in the department can now be placed in this new accommodation.
The council declined to say where the apartments were, but it is understood that they are located in the same development in the town of Carlow. Mr O’Donovan said there would be no shared access to the development between service users and other residents and there would be a 24/7 presence of staff trained by Depaul .
” There will be no crossing with other apartments or units. ”
There is a range of capacity in the units to accommodate service users with different circumstances.
Strangers could potentially share a room with a partition, this would only be done after an assessment by Depaul and under certain circumstances.
It is expected that Depaul will eventually manage additional housing for the homeless in other locations in the town of Carlow.
Depaul operates in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. It manages 30 specialized accommodation and local services. It offers more than 600 beds per night and in 2020 supported more than 3,500 people.
St Vincent de Paul said that transferring the management of homeless services to other charities “would benefit those who use the services of its hostels, as the management of homeless services exceeds the capacity of an organization run by volunteers such as SVP ”.
St Vincent de Paul said consultations with the home staff on the job transfer had started.
Mr. O’Donovan added that there had been appropriate consultation with stakeholders regarding the model change.
Depaul CEO David Carroll thanked the local St Vincent de Paul staff and volunteers for their work over the years.
“This is a thorough process to ensure a smooth transition in service delivery, always with the user of the service in mind. We would like to recognize SVP’s work in these services for many years, which has helped so many people affected by homelessness. SVP staff and volunteers in Carlow comforted many people and brought many more to a more sedentary environment.