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A gift for the homeless

The Irish Jesuit Province have announced that three properties in the Gardiner Street Parish of Dublin’s north inner city will be converted to 16 apartments for the homeless, pending the approval of the Charities Regulator.

The large Victorian buildings at 26-28 Sherrard Street Upper – which have housed various Jesuit organisations over the years including the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and the Pioneer Association – will go toward helping the Peter McVerry Trust as they continue with their important work trying to combat the scourge that is the homelessness crisis.

Speaking to The Irish Times, CEO Pat Doyle of the Peter McVerry Trust said: “The pressing need for housing, particularly social housing, is on the front page of the papers most days of the week. While this will go just a small way to addressing the crisis, we will be able to provide accommodation for a mix of people who are most in need.”

The 16 planned apartments will be designated for young people leaving care, those on the streets, and a mix singles, couples and perhaps small families living in emergency accommodation. “This will take them out of homelessness for good,” said Mr Doyle. “They will be tenants and the label of homelessness will be removed from them. I’m delighted that the Jesuit Community of Ireland see this as a very apt and fitting legacy for these properties.”

Although the properties – estimated to be worth about €3 million – will be donated to the trust, it is estimated that approximately €1.6 million will be spent on substantial conversion and renovation work. The trust which has a lot of experience with reusing buildings intends to seek planning permission this year with the aim of completing the apartments before Christmas 2019.