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National Head Office
+353 1 823 0776
9am – 5pm
Monday -Friday
Information and advice number for those in experiencing or at risk of homelessness
087 912 3989
9am – 5pm
Monday -Friday
Fundraising queries
+353 1 823 0776
9am – 5pm
Monday -Friday

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Temporary accommodation for families at Avalon House

Avalon House

Information on our new service for families at Avalon House in Dublin.

Open Letter to Whitefriar – Aungier Area Residents and Businesses from our CEO, Pat Doyle

Dear Residents and Businesses,

I am writing on behalf of Peter McVerry Trust to give you an update on our plans for Avalon House, Whitefriar Place in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. As we continue to engage with community representatives and the resident’s committee wewanted to make sure that the wider community, has the most up-to-date information on our plans.

Currently, the two most pressing demands we face in responding to homelessness are providing emergency accommodation for single people and for families. Originally, we planned to use Avalon House to help provide emergency accommodation to single people. However, given the feedback received from the community, including at a public meeting, we then changed our plan and will now use Avalon House to provide emergency accommodation for up to 25 families. This will not result in an additional homeless accommodation service in the area as we will be closing our emergency homeless facility for single men that has been operating on Aungier Street since 2012 when the new family accommodation opens.

We all want people to have a home of their own, but the unfortunate reality is that there is not enoughsocial and affordable housing to support individuals and families impacted by homelessness. At theend of October 2019 there were almost 1,300 homeless families in Dublin with 2,800 children.

Peter McVerry Trust currently operates 12 high standard family accommodation facilitiesincluding accommodation at Glasnevin, Malahide, Blackrock, Blanchardstown, Swords and Monkstown in Dublin. All of these facilities are embedded in the communities in which they operate and have minimum impact on the local area and that is our intention with Avalon House. Families who become homeless and are placed in hotel and B&B accommodation tell us that they need morespace and more privacy, cooking facilities, laundry facilities and more storage facilities.

The family accommodation we will provide in Avalon House will have on-site access to cooking facilities, food storage facilities, laundry facilities, a study area for school-going children and an indoor children’s play area. Each family will have its own suite to ensure privacy and space. We have already moved 62 families into their own long-term accommodation from our family facilities this year.

We would like to assure you that the delivery of this service to families will occur with the minimumimpact on people living or working in the local area.

If you would like to contact us in relation to this family accommodation please call 087-7657115 or email families@pmvtrust.ie

Yours sincerely,

Pat Doyle,

CEO

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Our commitment to the local community in the Whitefriar-Aungier area 

Community Engagement

Peter McVerry Trust intends that’s its delivery off amily accommodation at Whitefriar Place should occur with minimal impact on people living or working in the immediate vicinity.

Peter McVerry Trust is committed to cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with our neighbours and, where the need arises, to taking active steps to prevent and resolve any issues related to the family accommodation service.Peter McVerry Trust will identify a named contact person to liaise directly with agreed community contacts should any issues or complaints arise foreither party in relation to the preservation of good neighbourhood relations.

Peter McVerry Trust has similar arrangements inplace in other communities and this has served thecommunity, the organisation and our residents well. Peter McVerry Trust will designate a contact personfrom the highest level of the organisation for this purpose. Peter McVerry Trust would also recommend identifying a nominated community representative or liaison group with whom we would engage on anongoing basis.

Estate Management

Peter McVerry Trust has a positive track record in providing family accommodation in Dublin and beyond and our experience of 36 years in homeless services will inform the operation of this new service.Peter McVerry Trust staff are professional and highly skilled. Staff have significant experience in supporting families and ensuring that their needs are met.

Our property maintenance team will maintain property standards on an ongoing basis. Property maintenance will include all areas within and at the front of the premises.

Safety and Security

Peter McVerry Trust recognises that the key first step in ensuring safety and security and reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour is the appropriatemanagement of services.There will be CCTV covering the entrance to Avalon House and the lighting on Whitefriar Place will be improved. The CCTV will not impinge on the privacy of the other local residents.

Peter McVerry Trust staff will conduct a walk around the immediate area every hour throughout the day to check for any issues relating to Peter McVerry Trust residents. Any issues will be addressed immediately. We recognise the ongoing supports offered bythe charity to families in its care will also be critical in reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour.

PMVT will encourage and support families toprogress to independent living in the communityand to engage in appropriate activities such as employment, education, training etc.

PMVT will additionally provide a nominated community representative with a contact name and telephone number to be contacted should anyconcerns arise.

PMVT will also additionally enhance the existing CCTV system to monitor the premises and provideadditional security.

Peter McVerry Trust will, on an ongoing basis, engage with local representatives to ensure that all issuesare being raised and addressed.

Child Safeguarding

Peter McVerry Trust has a Designated Liaison Personwho ensures that the safety of children is safeguarded and that Tusla are notified of any concerns in relationto child safety and protection.

"“We had two rooms, our own kitchen, everything. After that, they organised viewings to see houses. They organised everything""
Sylvia. Progressed from our family accommodation in 2017.

Community Engagement 

Below is a summary timeline of Peter McVerry Trust’s engagement with the Whitefriar / Aungier Area community in relation to the opening of Avalon House as temporary homeless accommodation.

Throughout this process Peter McVerry Trust has been in frequent contact with local residents and local public representatives as well as Dublin City Council and Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

We have also, in addition to the below, set up a dedicated phone number 087-7657115 and a dedicated email families@pmvtrust.ie .

Week Commencing 11th November

  • Initial engagement with local public representatives
  • Initial engagement with business and community

Week Commencing 18th November

  • PMVT circulated its Charter of Good Faith re Avalon House
  • PMVT circulated correspondence to local Councillors and TDs with Charter of Good Faith, FAQs on Avalon House

Week Commencing 25th November

  • PMVT attended public meeting at Carmelite Community Centre about Avalon House
  • PMVT continued its engagement with local public representatives
  • PMVT issued statement and notice to public representatives that, having listened to the views of local residents, Avalon House is now to be used to accommodate families

Week Commencing 2nd December

  • PMVT had its initial engagement with newly formed local residents committee on Avalon House to set up consultation meetings
  • PMVT organised a consultation meeting with newly formed local residents committee attended by DCC (2 reps), PMVT (2 reps) and action committee (7 reps) and responded to all questions asked in relation to the family accommodation at Avalon House. At this meeting, PMVT distributed a document signed by the CEO of Peter McVerry Trust describing the type of service to be provided and a Charter of Good Faith setting out PMVT’s commitments in relation to the local community.
  • PMVT invited committee members to visit an operating PMVT family accommodation service open to all local residents committee members on Monday 9th and Thursday 12th December with return transport organised for pick-up at the Radisson at 3pm for each visit.
  • PMVT invited attendance of local residents committee at second consultation meeting scheduled for following week.

Week Commending 9th December

  • PMVT continued interaction with local public representatives
  • PMVT continued interaction with local resident group representatives
  • PMVT sought confirmation of attendance at second consultation meeting with local residents committee
  • PMVT presented for second consultation meeting with local residents committee.
  • PMVT arranged for an information leaflet with an open letter from the CEO of PMVT to be distributed door to door to local residents and business in the Whitefriar / Aungier Area which includes contact email (families@pmvtrust.ie) and phone (087-7657115) number that any local resident can use to speak with a senior member of staff at PMVT in relation to any clarifications they require.
  • PMVT met with DCC staff, DRHE staff and local public representatives

Week Commencing 16th December

  • PMVT continued interaction with local public representatives
  • PMVT continued interaction with local resident group representatives
  • PMVT organised an additional postal drop of the information leaflet with open letter from CEO of PMVT to residential and business addresses in the Whitefriar / Aungier Area
  • PMVT installed display boards with information and a copy of the open letter from the CEO of PMVT in local public areas (Libraries, Whitefriar Church, Community Service)
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Frequently asked questions

What will Avalon House be used for?

Avalon House will be used to provide emergency homeless accommodation for up to 25 families.

Will Avalon House be used to accommodate single men or women?

No.

Will this be an additional homeless service in the area?

No. Peter McVerry Trust will close its current 20 bed facility for homeless men on Aungier Street that hasb een operating since 2012 when this new service opens.

What will happen Peter McVerry Trust’s existing hostel on Aungier Street?

It will close when the new family hub in Avalon House opens.

Why does Peter McVerry Trust want to provide accommodation for families?

At the end of October 2019 there were almost 1,300 homeless families in Dublin with 2,800 children. Peter McVerry Trust believes that the best response to homelessness is for families to have their own home and is working hard to deliver more across Dublin, but there aren’t enough homes at the minute and this type of accommodation provides a better short-term solution for families than hotel and B&B accommodation.

How long can families stay in the accommodation?

We want to make families’ stays as short as possible. On average, families move on to their ownaccommodation within seven months, but families will be able to stay until they find a home.

What supports will be in place for families stayingin the accommodation?

There are professional support staff on site 24 hours a day seven days a week to support families. Each family has a designated key worker, and families receive support around schools, education, welfare payment, health needs and housing.

Will the facility be effectively managed?

Yes. Suitably qualified, professional staff will ensure that the facility is safe and well managed 365 daysof the year.

Is there 24 hour access?

Yes. Families will come and go each day as they go about their daily business, dropping kids to school, meeting friends and families, attending work or training and carrying out property viewings.

Will families have access to on-site laundry facilities?

Yes.

Will families have access to on-site cooking facilities?

Yes.

Will children have access to an indoor play area?

Yes.

Will school age children have a study area?

Yes.

Where will families move on to?

Families are supported to progress to their own independent accommodation through local authority housing, housing with an approved housing body or private rented accommodationunder the Housing Assistance Payment.

Will appropriate security measures be in place?

Yes. There will be CCTV covering the entrance to Avalon House and the lighting on Whitefriar Place will be improved. The CCTV will not impinge on the privacy of the other local residents. Peter McVerry Trust staff will conduct a walk around the immediate area every hour throughout the day to check for any issues relating to Peter McVerry Trust residents. Any issues will be addressed immediately.

What happens if issues or complaints arise that are linked to the family accommodation service?

A liaison group will be established with people from the local area who can communicate directly with an identified senior member of staff of the Peter McVerry Trust. To ensure good community relations, Peter McVerry Trust will designate a contact person from the highest level of the organisation to liaise directly with agreed community contacts should any issues or complaints arise for either party in relation to the preservation of good neighbourhood relations.

"When I first moved in, I was pregnant with Nathan. They helped me get everything I needed for the hospital and they were a great support to Robert while I was in hospital"
Mary and Robert. The couple progressed from our family accommodation in 2018
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