Wednesday 23 October 2019

Emergency homeless unit to close after complaints of 'threats'

(stock photo of a homeless person)
(stock photo of a homeless person)

David Raleigh

A temporary emergency bed unit, opened two years ago to prevent large-scale rough sleeping, is to be closed following complaints from residents about intimidation.

The Temporary Emergency Provision was funded by Limerick City and County Council, and operated by NOVAS at Edenvilla, Lord Edward Street, since December 2016.

The 20-bed unit, available to adults and couples aged over 18, has been in constant demand, "accounting for over 8,000 bed nights", according to Una Burns, NOVAS Head of Policy and Communications. She said that staff do nightly patrols and anyone suspected of bad behaviour is "moved on" or "excluded".

Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea said people living nearby had complained to him "about being harassed...for money".

"In some cases [they were] actually threatened. It was quite an ordeal for them. Some were traumatised by it. I had women coming to me and they were in an awful state."

The council confirmed the plan to close the temporary facility. It insisted alternative accommodation would be provided.

Irish Independent

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