Novas’ family service launches urgent appeal for Limerick restaurants and hotels to support families in B&B accommodation
Novas’ Intensive Family Support Service (IFS), based in Mungret Street in the city, has launched an urgent appeal calling on local hotels and restaurants to support families living in emergency accommodation with the provision of hot meals every evening. The appeal comes as approximately 15 families reside in hotels and B&B’s around the city and county every night, accounting for 22 adults and 26 children.
Clare Brooks, manager of the service, observed the spike in families seeking support in the last 24 months. ‘Last year 259 families in the city were referred to our service. While we have now increased our monthly caseload from 40 to 50 families, it remains difficult to keep apace with the crisis’. She went on to explain that the greatest problem is the dearth of supply in the private rented market – ‘There are just not enough houses and low-income families and those relying on rent supplement and HAP payments are finding it the most difficult to secure accommodation, thus the increasing numbers living in B&B’s and hotels’.
While the organisation is working tirelessly to secure long-term housing for families, very basis needs must be met in the meantime. Brooks explained that clients have no access to healthy warm dinners and are relying on take-away’s every evening ‘which is both bad for their health and expensive.’ In order to counter this problem Novas is appealing to local hotels and restaurants to donate warm meals each evening. Our volunteers will pick these meals up and deliver them to the families directly, so businesses that get involved in the appeal don’t have to worry about that side of things’.
Novas already have an excellent relationship with The Greenhills Hotel, which has been donating hot meals to its Street Outreach service for the past seven years. Brooks described that ‘since the service was set up, the hotel has been a steadfast supporter and the arrangement works very well. We are looking to develop something similar with other food providers in the city.’
Brooks went on to state that this appeal ‘is a very practical solution for families and will improve their wellbeing while residing in such unsuitable accommodation’. For any local businesses that would like to get involved they can contact the Intensive family support service on 061 468033.
Note for editors
Novas set up its first service in Ireland in 2002. Funded by the HSE and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government it provides services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Working with families, children and single adults who are disadvantaged or socially excluded, it offers client centred services and promotes social justice. It provides services in Limerick, Dublin, Kerry, Tipperary, Clare and Cork.
For Further information contact Anne Cronin, Head of Homeless Services, Novas, 061 370325.