THE redevelopment of the Brother Russell Housing Project, Mulgrave Street, has received funding of more than €4m, donated by the Department of Housing and the JP McManus Foundation.
In association with Novas, who provide services to the homeless, the redeveloped centre will officially open its doors in late 2014, according to a spokesperson.
At the sod turning on Friday, Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan told the Limerick Chronicle that the old facility wasn’t suitable for residents. She added that Novas has been successful in tackling the homelessness problem in the city.
“Novas do tremendous work for the homeless in Limerick, in terms of addressing the problems of homeless people. They have an outreach programme; a place where people can come if they are in an urgent situation. They made a huge difference, in terms of having facilities and services for people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“We have had a very good response in Limerick and Novas would be very central to that. There are other voluntary agencies as well. We also have the homeless forum, which is organised through the city council. I think we can all remember a time when people did sleep in doorways, but there will be people who will become suddenly homeless, and they need a service. But we do have a very effective service here in Limerick and that is due to Novas,” she said.
Novas spokesperson, Una Burns, said homelessness in Limerick has been treated positively since the organisation was set up 11 years ago.
“In Limerick we have enough homeless accommodation where there shouldn’t be anybody that has to sleep rough in the city, and that’s something we should be really proud of.
“Since Novas came in 2002, no homeless person has died on the streets of Limerick. Whereas, previous to that, there were two or three deaths every winter. But there is always more to be done,” she said.