On Monday July 22nd, an Tánaiste Simon Coveney visited Edel House, the emergency shelter for women and children in Grattan Street (a service of Good Shepherd Cork), to view the recently launched re-development project of Edel House. With funding of €7.537m from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Good Shepherd Cork is in the early phases of a two-year construction and refurbishment project which, when complete in April 2021, will give Cork a modern emergency shelter. The re-furbished Edel House will provide residents with appropriate facilities and a more dignified environment. Minister Coveney also visited Redclyffe, the family hub service of Good Shepherd Cork which opened in 2018 and is operated on behalf of Cork City Council.
“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to visit Good Shepherd Cork to view progress and plans for the re-development of Edel House and to visit Redclyffe, Cork’s only family hub,” Minister Coveney said. “The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, through Cork City Council, is making a significant €7.537m investment in the extension and upgrading of facilities at Edel House, which provides a vital service for women and children who are homeless. The Department, through the City Council, is also funding the new service at Redclyffe for families who are homeless. During my visit I had the opportunity to learn more about both services and to hear from residents and staff about the experience of homelessness in Cork city.”
Chairperson of Good Shepherd Cork, Brendan Lenihan, expressed his satisfaction that the re-development of Edel House is underway: “The re-development of Edel House is urgently needed. The shelter has been operating at full capacity for several years and we simply do not have the facilities to meet the needs of residents. The re-development of Edel House and the opening of Redclyffe represent a significant expansion of our services, a major investment of government funding and an opportunity for us to provide women, children and families who are homeless in Cork with a more dignified environment, whilst recognising that no child should have to grow up in emergency accommodation.”
Good Shepherd Cork CEO, Allison Aldred, commented: “The homelessness crisis in Ireland is largely a crisis of families – a third of those living in emergency accommodation in Cork are children. We are at full capacity, currently housing over 100 people in Edel House and Redclyffe and see every day the huge stresses that homelessness brings to women, children and families in our community. We were very pleased to welcome Minister Coveney to brief him about family homelessness in Cork and our plans for developing our facilities and services to ameliorate some of the worst impacts.”
Good Shepherd Cork is an independent, registered charity established in 1981 which works with women, children and families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, in Cork. In 2018 GSC worked with over 800 women and children. In addition to Edel House and Redclyffe, Good Shepherd Cork runs five other services – a residential service for teenage girls who are out of home; long-term supported housing for vulnerable women; an education and development project for teenage girls who are out of school; the provision of outreach services to vulnerable women and families in the community; and the provision of outreach services to those staying in B&Bs and other private emergency accommodation. Good Shepherd Cork is the only homeless service in Cork that can admit and care for children who are homeless. Additional information is available at www.goodshepherdcork.ie.