100 new beds provided for homeless as winter's cold weather starts to take hold
A HOMELESS accommodation service that can cater for 100 people has opened as the temperatures begin to drop.
Dublin City Council yesterday opened Bru Aimsir on Thomas Street in Dublin 8 as part of its annual cold weather initiative. The service is aimed at those who are rough sleeping this winter or at a risk of it.
"The cold weather initiative runs every year and was put in place as a humanitarian response to the homeless situation," said Lisa Kelleher of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. "Bru Aimsir is a core aspect of it.
"The aim is to prevent incidents which occur in the cold weather and to prevent fatalities or any serious harm from cold weather temperatures.
"There are 100 beds in Bru Aimsir - 80 for men and 20 for women. Persons accessing the service will be provided with a light meal in the evening and breakfast in the morning. Showers and laundry facilities will also be available.
"A range of health supports will also be available on-site from the HSE, including nursing, GP cover and holistic therapies."
Volunteers will participate in delivering social and recreational activities including art, photography and music.
Located in the old Cash 'n' Carry building, Bru Aimsir is overseen by statutory and voluntary bodies working in the provision of homeless services.
All referrals and bookings into Bru Aimsir are managed by Dublin City Council's Homeless Central Placement Service.
The beds in Bru Aimsir are in addition to a delivery of 75 ringfenced beds across all homeless services in the Dublin region, with 20 single beds as part of an extreme cold weather service, 37 family units, 18 couple units and 80 additional rooms for families being confirmed.
Other groups identified as central to the "effective delivery" of the Cold Weather Initiative include Dublin Housing First Intake Team, An Garda Siochana, the HSE, Tusla and the Civil Defence, which have plans in place to help rough sleepers.
A number of services have also upped their delivery for the winter period.
The Capuchin Centre has extended its early opening hours to 7am. Merchants Quay Ireland breakfast service is available from 7.30am, and the Night Cafe is open all night.
Focus Ireland Coffee Shop, and Mendicity Day Services are all operating day services during the cold weather.