Novas Initiatives is the largest voluntary organisation in the Mid West working with those who are most marginalised in our communities. We identify gaps in service provision through working closely with those experiencing homeless and those who are dispossessed in our society.
In North Tipperary we currently operate 3 services; a Respite Service in Newport, an emergency homeless service in Nenagh as well as an emergency homeless service in Thurles. All 3 services are actively responding to the growing need for emergency and long-term accommodation in North Tipperary as the figures for those experiencing homelessness and social deprivation in the area are set to increase as the economic downturn and further cuts to benefits take effect.
The Respite Service works with families who are experiencing difficulty with a family member who is a drug user. The service provides respite for a period of 1 to 2 nights for a family member to escape the chaos that living with a drug user can bring. The service is funded through the MWRDTF and has had a significant increase in the number of families being referred to the service throughout 2011. The service can be contacted directly on 061 624878.
Our service at Prospect House in Nenagh has been operating now for 3 years providing accommodation for those who present as homeless in Nenagh and is considered instrumental in reducing the numbers experiencing homeless in the town. Clients of the service receive training in the life skills necessary to live independently whilst waiting for more suitable long-term accommodation to become available. Prospect House staff can be contacted at 067 34535.
Our third service in North Tipperary opened in Mitchel St. last December and has proved itself most beneficial in tackling the homeless problem in Thurles. The service has been full all year round, with a waiting list in place for much of the year. The service has had great success in moving people out of homelessness since it opened and is making great linkages with other agencies working in the region. Mitchel St staff can be contacted on 0504 58838.
2011 brought many unwelcome changes to the area of homeless provision. Extreme funding cuts coupled with an increase in the numbers presenting to our services (46% of an increase in figures from this time last year) meant that our resources were and will continue to be stretched to the limit. Further cuts to government grants for homeless accommodation providers have been promised, begging the question – how will vital services survive going forward? Can the promise to end homelessness be realised in such conditions?
If you would like to volunteer your time, it would be very welcome. NI would also like to thank all those who wished us well throughout the year and helped us provide the much-needed services we operate in North Tipperary.
All donations are welcome to our head office based at 1 Mungret St, Limerick. Please call 061 468033 for any queries or go to our website for details on our services www.novas.ie.