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a fresh start

Six young homeless people are moving into these formerly dilapidated flats

The building in Dublin city was transformed by the Peter McVerry Trust.

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

IT DOESN’T LOOK like much from the outside but behind the blue door at 3 Pim Street in Dublin lies six fresh starts for young people who have had very difficult lives.

The building was previously uninhabitable, what is known as a ‘void’ in housing terms.

That was until the Dublin City Council handed it over to homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust for a complete transformation. Supported by €100,000 in funding and other practical assistance from French construction company Saint-Gobain, the charity managed to complete a complex that will now be home to six people.

The end result is six units that are light, homely and finished to a very high quality. Homes to be proud of.

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

Each unit can house one person, with a studio and one-bed flat on the ground floor and four other one-beds spread between the first and second floors.

This place will be the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of six young people, some of whom have come through the care system and have never had a stable home life.

Showing around the complex, CEO of the trust Pat Doyle explained some of the new tenants were coming from the St Catherine’s Foyer hostel for young people located just around the corner.

Many of the people living in the hostel have became homeless because of family issues. They have few belongings of their own and, unlike some of their peers flying the nest, they don’t have parents’ homes to nab household items from for their new flats, he said.

With this in mind, the trust made sure to provide everything they would need down to personal touches like cushions, pictures for the walls, decorative lamps and all of the kitchen essentials.

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

“This is a good news story for the Peter McVerry Trust,” Doyle said.

Sometime when they go into places you think you’re never going to get out of homelessness and now they have the key to the door for life.

Two tenants have already moved in. Both are working steady jobs and are looking forward in their lives with positivity.

In a documentary about the project filmed by the trust, one of the tenants Brian says he is “overwhelmed” by this fresh start.

I’ll be able to cook in my own kitchen. That coming along is probably one of the most exciting things say in the last six years ever since it got to its peak of the worst of the situation.

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

The other tenant Emma said she is now living somewhere where she feels safe.

“I’m not going to end up homeless again. I don’t have to worry about being homeless again.”

That literally feels like the weight of the world off your shoulders.

Michelle Hennessy Michelle Hennessy

Michelle Hennessy / Michelle Hennessy / /

At the official launch of the new units earlier today was Dublin Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhalaigh who said that while the flats are welcome “we know they are a drop in the ocean to what is needed.”

We are faced in October with a deficit of €18.5 million and we still don’t know how we are going to bridge that deficit, we don’t know how we’re going to address that,” she said referring to the shortfall in homeless services funding in Dublin.

More projects like this one are hugely important, she said, in addressing the city’s massive housing crisis. But today was a day for celebrating and she finished her speech with a fitting saying:

“Níl tinteán mar do thinteán féin – there’s no fireside like your own fireside.”

Read: Homeless man receives job offers after photo of his handwritten CV goes viral>

Homeless in Athens: ‘Greece never dies. But the Greeks will die.’>

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