First Family Hub in the Co. Clare opens, with temporary accommodation for five families

Novas open first family hub in Co. Clare

Novas today commenced operation of the first family hub in Co. Clare, which has been delivered by the Social Development Directorate of Clare County Council and funded by the County Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The hub, located on the Lahinch Road in Ennis, will be operated by Novas and funded by Clare County Council. It will provide supported accommodation for five families from the Ennis area who are currently experiencing homelessness.

The Hub, a collaboration between Novas and Clare County Council, is a response to the growing homeless crisis in the Mid-West region. Una Burns, Head of Policy and Communications with Novas said of the development ‘we are delighted to work closely with the council to get the hub opened ahead of schedule and offer a degree of security for families who have been living in hotels and B&B’s in the region. We are grateful that Clare County Council were able to secure and redesign the building to create this hub. They have done a wonderful job in creating a space that is centred around the child, with dedicated indoor and outdoor play areas, comfortable bedrooms and communal spaces with homework stations, cooking and laundry facilities and relaxation spaces.’ While hubs are not a long-term solution to family homelessness, they offer a degree of structure and stability, while we support residents to secure permanent housing.

There are currently 28 homeless families in Clare, with many more hidden homeless, sofa surfing, involuntary sharing and living in substandard accommodation. As well as operating the hub, the staff of the new facility will offer outreach support to vulnerable families in the region. For more than ten years Novas has provided intensive family support in Limerick and works with close to 300 families per year. While the support is based on the bespoke needs of individual families it relates to securing and maintaining housing, budgeting and money management, eliminating anti-social behaviour and education and schooling. A similar model will be provided in Clare.

Damien McMahon from Clare County Council said the new service ‘offered a meaningful opportunity for homeless families to access sustainable exits from homelessness with the support of professional staff from Novas and the Council. Clare County Council housing department have worked tirelessly to ensure the hub was opened as soon as possible and is confident the new facility will provide a new beginning for vulnerable families in the region.’