Fri, Apr 23, 2021
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Home Northside East LeFroy House, children's emergency hostel, closes after 20 years

LeFroy House, children’s emergency hostel, closes after 20 years

The emergency nightlight service ran by The Salvation Army in Lefroy House, Eden Quay has shut.

The children’s-only hostel was for teenagers who were homeless, out of placement or were unable to return to their families.

It could sleep up to seven people each night with around 100 minors using the facility in recent years.

Children could stay at the facility over night but had to leave in the morning – they could then return at 5pm that evening if they needed shelter for that night.

Late last year The Salvation Army informed staff and TUSLA that it intended on closing the facility this year but did not clarify why it came to the decision.

Malcolm Page, assistant director of homelessness services for the charity said that it aims to accommodate the children who use service elsewhere.

“Our aim is to enable the small number of young people who use this facility to be accommodated safely and securely in other support services and we will work with Tusla on transition arrangements,” he said.

“This was a difficult decision but to stress, the closure of Lefroy has no impact on other Salvation Army operations in Ireland.

“While we are sad to close Lefroy House, it allows us to refocus our resources into essential services for adults and families.

“The long-term economic impact of the pandemic is already being felt, which makes our vital work with vulnerable adults and families even more urgent.”

A spokesperson for TUSLA, the child and family agency, said that further services to support the children who used the facility will be established.

“We would like to reassure the public that plans are already in place to ensure continuity of this important service and this will not result in any loss of service for the children and young people who need it,” the agency said.

“A new short-term residential care centre is now in operation to provide this vital 24/7 service for children and young people, and will be delivered on behalf of Tusla by the Peter McVerry Trust.

“The service will provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for the young person and support their onwards transition out of the centre, in line with the social work assessment of need to safely return home, return to their previous placement or onwards to an alternative placement.

“We would like to acknowledge the service provided by the Salvation Army’s Nightlight Service over the past 20 years, and we look forward to continuing our positive working relationship with Peter Mc Verry Trust.”

Independent councillor Francis Timmons, who helped establish the service more than 20 years ago said he was disappointed to learn it had been shut.

“I feel very sad and annoyed that this service I set up in 1999 has now shut.

“I have written to the minister and so far, he has not responded.

I take some comfort in knowing that the service was a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable young people I ever met, it gave them a place when many services would not deal with them.

“I think it’s appalling regrettable and a travesty that a vital service like this has been allowed shut.’’

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