Former bank building in Walkinstown set to become homeless hub
By Maurice Garvey
A NEW homeless hub at the former Bank of Ireland building in Walkinstown is expected to open before Christmas.
The facility will house approximately 60 to 80 homeless people.
The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) have leased a building formerly used as a Bank of Ireland, on Balfe Road for a period of 18 months.
Eileen Gleeson, head of the DRHE said the intention is to use the hub for “singles or couples, not families.”
“We finalised lease arrangements last week, got change of use of planning, and used our framework to appoint a contractor to carry out the work,” she said at an area meeting in Dublin City Council.
“There isn’t a huge amount of work needed to the building, but there is some work in relation to facilities that will have to be carried out.”
The DRHE have commenced an expression of interest, to find a service provider for the Walkinstown hub.
Ms Gleeson expects the service provider will engage with the local community, and DRHE also have their own community liaison officer available.
The hub will support temporary accommodation, allowing tenants freedom to come and go without any curfew in place.
Hub tenants will be engaged in a wraparound service, and eventually moved to permanent accommodation, according to Ms Gleeson.
Builders were on site last Wednesday to assess the premises.
The cost of the facility has yet to be formalised.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí de Róiste said the hub is needed to cater for the homeless but “they need to make sure it is done properly.”
Meanwhile, councillors raised concerns at the lack of community consultation with regard to the proposed opening of a homeless hub for 24 families at the former probation services building on Clonard Road, Crumlin.
“I understand there is an information day, but I think it would have been helpful to have a consultation in the community beforehand,” said People Before Profit Councillor Tina McVeigh.
“That was my understanding of it when we met before (with DRHE), which is a little more than an information day once the place is built and ready to open, to answer residents’ questions ahead of time so that we can address them.”
United Left Councillor Pat Dunne asked for a definite date on when councillors could visit the site.
Ms Gleeson said it would be safe for people to visit the Clonard site this week.