Homeless people occupying the vacant Apollo House do not necessarily want to leave the office building for the emergency accommodation on offer, according to a campaigner behind the initiative.
Rosie Leonard of the Home Sweet Home movement said that the idea behind the shelter in Apollo House is to offer the kind of home lacking in hostels elsewhere in Dublin. She said some staying in Apollo House are currently assessing offers from the Peter McVerry Trust, but that their space in the office building will be kept for them while they decide which option suits best.
“Unfortunately a six- month bed is one of the longest bed periods you can get if you are homeless, it’s pretty shocking. They’re very difficult beds to get,” Ms Leonard told RTE’s Morning Ireland.
“We were talking to a lot of the residents over the past few days who have been saying that they feel like Apollo is their home, and one of the reasons they feel that way is that we don’t run it like an ordinary hostel, so to speak, in that we want residents to have a say in how it’s run.
“But you can’t be [in some other hostels] during the day, and that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make people feel as if they’re very welcome there, as if they have a say in the building, as if it’s their home, and that they don’t need to leave during the day, that they can continue their normal lives,” she said.
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