Peter McVerry Trust hits Housing First target in Midlands

The national housing and homeless charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, has announced that it has met its Housing First target in the Midlands for 2020.

In its first year since signing the three-year contract, the charity has created 11 Housing First tenancies across the Midlands.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said: “We are delighted to have reached our target for Housing First across the Midlands in 2020, with the support of Westmeath, Offaly, Laois and Longford county councils and the HSE. We are working hard to not only meet our targets but exceed them.”

“Housing First is a housing service for entrenched rough sleepers which puts housing front and centre and focuses on getting each individual a key to the door.

"This model is different because it shifts away from the emergency hostel model and provides wraparound supports once a person is housed, to make every success of each new tenancy generated. It is hugely successful at not only providing housing for complex cases but ensuring they remain housed years later.”

The Midlands Housing First contract is 5% of the national target and comes in under the Housing First National Implementation Plan, which is led by Bob Jordan, National Director of Housing First, and is funded through Rebuilding Ireland.

On future plans for the region, Pat Doyle explained: “Our target up to the end of 2022 for the Midlands Housing First contract is to generate a minimum of 34 new tenancies.

"Over the next two years, we will continue to work with the most vulnerable people impacted by homelessness in each of the four counties in the Midlands to get them off the street, out of hostels and into a secure home of their own.”

In Co. Westmeath last year, three Housing First tenancies were secured, also meeting the target set for the county for 2020.

Mick, one of the three tenancies secured, received the keys to his own home in Kilbeggan in December last year after spending three years in homelessness.

“I found out Christmas week, the day before Christmas Eve from the keyworker that she had a surprise for me. She had an apartment for me to move into for Christmas so I was over the moon,” he said.

"It’s through the Peter McVerry Trust that I got housed. I’m in my own apartment and I can look after myself,” he added.

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