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Dublin: 6°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Apollo House launches nightly 'mobile outreach' team

The group behind the occupied Nama-controlled building, Home Sweet Home, has launched the service following “extremely generous donations from the Irish public”.

27/12/2016. Apollo House. Pictured Irish Housing N Rosi Leonard of the Irish Housing Network pictured outside Apollo House on 27 December Source: Leah Farrell

HOMELESS ACTIVISTS OCCUPYING the Nama-controlled Apollo House in Dublin have launched a nightly ‘mobile outreach’ service.

Home Sweet Home, the group behind the occupation, says it has launched the service “following the extremely generous donations from the Irish public” received over the Christmas period.

The team will “distribute essentials” like sleeping bags, thermal clothing, and toiletries to people sleeping rough around the city centre.

“We encountered about 10 people on Wednesday night sleeping rough in the Grafton Street area,” said volunteer Shane Griffin.

What was really striking was how grateful they were for things which are absolutely essential – some of them were sleeping on the street in the cold without blankets or any covering at all.’

“The people we met said that there were simply not enough beds available, and that the accommodation that is available is either unsafe or unsuitable,” Griffin added.

“This is a movement to end homelessness in Ireland,” Tommy Gavin of the Irish Housing Network meanwhile said.

The campaign does not end at the gates of Apollo House.

The outreach group itself consists of “six-plus people working on behalf of Apollo house”, according to Gavin, operating between 11pm and 3am.

“The team themselves are really, really happy to be doing this because it’s people who are volunteering and who feel so passionate about the homeless crisis,” Gavin said, adding that the experience of the new team to date “shows Dublin City Council’s claim that there are more than enough beds in quality accommodation to be a total contradiction”.

Over 2,000 people have thus far offered their services to volunteer at Apollo House since the building was first occupied on 15 December, according to Home Sweet Home.

38 people spent Christmas night in the building, with 70 homeless people receiving Christmas dinner on the premises.

While the occupation itself bears all the hallmarks of a professional operation, the courts have nevertheless given Home Sweet Home until 11 January to vacate the building.

Read: Occupation of empty Dublin apartment block by homelessness activists ends

Read: ‘Irish people are suckers for celebrity endorsements’: Dublin council chief on Apollo House

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