A BRAND new project which allows independent living to former homeless people has been launched by Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan.
The Limerick Social Service council and the Associated Charities Trust, which runs Thomond House, have teamed up to provide long term supported housing at Altamira Court, off the Quarry Road in Thomondgate.
Some 28 apartments have been provided for former residents of Thomond House, which provides a refuge for women who have fallen into the trap of homelessness.
The Limerick Social Services Council provides the apartments, while the Associated Charities Trust provides support for its residents.
The building was previous operated by the social service council as a unit for women who required supported accommodation during a crisis pregnancy, and the first year of parenthood.
But after an extensive review of the service, the Social Service Council decided the building would be better served to a different base.
They teamed up with the Associated Charities Trust, which identified long-term residents of Thomond House to take a place in the complex.
So far, nine residents have availed of the service, and have lived there since August.
One, former singer, Teri Fitzgerald,described the facility as “just brilliant”.
“It is wonderful to have my own space where I can cook, and live and be myself,” she said. Teri paid tribute to Thomond House, which looked after her for the last decade.
Ms O’Sullivan reiterated the government’s commitment to ending long-term homelessness by 2016.
“While it remains important that a proportion of funding is maintained to provide sufficient bed capacity for those in need of emergency accommodation, resources must be channelled to deliver more permanent responses. We are striving to foster a resettlement culture, one which promotes independent living,” she said.
The Minister was joined by Bishop Brendan Leahy - who blessed the new home - as well as representatives of Limerick’s Homeless Services, the HSE, the Associated Charities Trust and the Social Service Council.