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100-bed homeless medical treatment and recovery facility in Dublin gets green light

The announcement was made at the launch of the Dublin Simon Community 2018 annual report.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE DEVELOPMENT OF a 100-bed medical treatment and recovery facility for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been given the green light. 

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced the development at the launch of the Dublin Simon Community 2018 annual review earlier today.

The new six-storey development at Ushers Island will comprise 5,889 sq/m of floor area providing 100 beds. 

The development will add 64 beds to the 36 at the existing treatment centre, bringing the total to 100.

Planning permission is already in place and today’s confirmation of government funding merans work on the site can commence before the end of 2019, with a completion expected in the last quarter of 2021, according to the charity. 

A suite of core services will be delivered at the facility once constructed. 

These include: 

  • An alcohol and benzodiazepine detoxification unit for people who are homeless.
  • A rapid access stabilisation service in partnership with Merchants Quay Ireland.
  • An expansion of the low threshold residential addiction recovery service.
  • A step up/step down unit for people with complex health needs, in collaboration with hospitals and in partnership with Safetynet Primary Care.
  • A blood borne virus unit to support stabilisation of clients on medication and reduce substance misuse in order to address their addiction.

A number of other services will also be available, which include: 

  • ‘Sure Steps’ counselling services for individuals who are homeless.
  • Aftercare services for those recovering from problematic drug or alcohol use.
  • An addiction specific in-reach homeless action team involving the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and the HSE.
  • Health and wellbeing, client involvement, literacy and personal development services on site.

“This increased number of beds, together with the establishment of rapid access stabilisation and a step up/step down facility will allow Dublin Simon Community to extend its services to a significantly larger number of clients,” Murphy said. 

“It will support many individuals currently rough sleeping to exit homelessness to a home.”

Welcoming the announcement, Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness said: “Our clients experience multiple social barriers when trying to access healthcare.

As a consequence, clients who are homeless tend not to access healthcare or addiction treatment in the first place, or when they do, lack sufficient supports after their treatment to recover. This leads to higher mortality and morbidity rates.

Annual report

Today’s announcement coincided with the launch of the Dublin Simon Community 2018 annual report. 

Last year, the charity delivered housing, health and support services to 7,684 people and families – a 22% increase in overall service delivery since 2017.

It resettled 1,050 adults and 1,081 children (928 households) out of homelessness and into homes, a 27% increase on the previous year.

A total of 862 adults and children were housed last year in Dublin Simon Community independent and supported housing for singles, couples and families.

1,087 people were provided treatment, recovery, aftercare and counselling services by the charity last year.

“In 2018 we began to see the impact of our increased focus on the provision of housing to enable more people to close the door on homelessness. These efforts are having a huge impact as our housing unit stock continues to grow,” McGuinness said. 

“Today’s announcement regarding the new facility underlines the importance of the  provision of additional medical and treatment services, such as counselling, suicide prevention programmes and medical intervention, which have been a key feature of our activity in 2018 and going forward in the new facility,” he said.

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