Eddie Brennan, 54, says the Salvation Army has helped him continue his life through a combination of respect, structure and safety, having battled mental health and addiction issues for two decades. He now calls York House, one of the organization’s adult and emergency centers in Dublin, his home Photo by Marc O’Sullivan
FIGHTING depression, alcohol abuse and homelessness For 20 years, Eddie Brennan is one of many who have been rescued by The Salvation Army.
Originally from Ballyfermot, Eddie (54) now calls York House Lifehouse on Longford Street his home – along with 80 other men recovering from mental health or addiction issues.
âI have my own key, my own place, a desk and shelves. I have privacy when I need it, but I also know that someone is watching me. In my opinion, we’re all brothers and sisters here, âEddie said.
âRespect, structure and security – if you have these things, you can move on with your life. “
Younger, Eddie was a volunteer driver for youth and seniors clubs before depression gripped his life at age 30, pushing him into a spiral of homeless shelters and mental hospitals.
âI was just going around in circles. When you are homeless, you are afraid of settling yourself. You are afraid of getting to know someone because you are always pushing forward, âhe said.
âIn the hostels, there was nothing permanent. Every six months or so I had to pack my bags and move to the next hostel so that I could never really settle down anywhere.
Eddie now has the comforts of a safe home in York House Residential Center, one of six such centers operated by The Salvation Army.
According to the Salvation Army’s 2020 annual report, they have provided more than 400 people in Dublin with safe beds every night.
In total, 133 families, as well as 386 men, women and under 18, were supported by the organization in the capital in 2020.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Christian Church and the charity, together with Dublin City Council, have opened a new family center at Harold’s Cross.
âA family hub is only designed and suitable as short-term accommodation for families. During their time with us, we always help them explore options for securing their own accommodation and making their situation as comfortable as possible, âsaid Salvation Army Regional Director Neil McKittrick.
âThis includes skills to support them when they return to the community. “
In 2020, more than 28,000 meals for adults and children were served and hundreds of food packages distributed by its three family hubs, which also offer cooking classes, advice on healthy eating, sports and physical activities, quiz nights and religious / spiritual support.
The religious and charitable organization supports vulnerable people in more than 100 countries around the world.
He asks residents to support their work HERE or dial 0818 600 101.