Homeless charity described as “beacon of light” opens new facility

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A new local children’s home which provides the only service of its type in the state was officially opened just before Christmas.

Novas Bellevue Children’s Home and Haarlem Court apartment complex in Firehouse consists of eight two-bed units.

These are special needs social housing units for tenants coming off South Dublin County Council’s housing lists.

Some of the residents were formerly homeless, while others have children with special needs or have physical disabilities themselves.

Local TD Sean Crowe (Sinn Fein) officially opened the complex last month.

“I was delighted to be asked to open the complex. The Bellevue Children’s Home is a service for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children entering the State. It is the only one of its kind in the country,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Each year 70 to 80 unaccompanied minors enter the State seeking asylum and we are all aware of the horrific situation in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of children have died trying to acquire refuge in the EU.

“Ireland needs to play its part in providing refuge to children fleeing war, famine, and oppression, and these services show positive leadership from civil society.

“This service is a beacon of light for vulnerable people and it is a good news story that all the local and national politicians are extremely proud of. Well done to everyone associated with this fantastic and much needed development.”

Michael Goulding, Novas’s CEO said, “The development of the Haarlem Court campus is one of a range of responses by Novas to the national housing crisis and Novas is ready to play its part in supporting migrants entering the country.”

Novas’s annual report, which was published on the same day the new facility opened, reveals that Novas supported more than 2,200 people throughout the country during 2014, this represented a 131 per cent increase in numbers accessing support over a five-year period.

Novas Homeless Services has been operating 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.