independent

Thursday 19 September 2019

More beds needed at women's refuge

Cllr Davy Hynes
Cllr Davy Hynes
Cllr Deirdre Wadding

By Esther Hayden

Wexford Women's Refuge needs to be expanded.

Senior executive officer with Wxford County Council said the council had been involved with an open day at the refuge earlier this month.

'This refuge is a member of the homeless action team which is an inter-agency forum to coordinate service privion to emergecy homeless services and those families affected by domestic violence.'

She said a cheque amounting to almost €5,000 was presented to the refuge on behalf of the council.

Cllr Davy Hynes said he had been involved with the refuge for a number of years adding 'they do great work'.

He said it was vital to help the most vulnerable people in the community.

Cllr Anthony Kelly said he had concerns that Ozanam House had been at full capacity on a number of occasions in recent months with a waiting list of up to 15 people.

Senior executive officer Liz Hore said there had been a waiting list of 11 people but 'thankfully this has improved. In the last two weeks we've have two vacancies there and one in the refuge. People present as homeless for a number of different reasons. We have a number of facilities with use ourselves in regards to homelessness and nobody is left in a vulnerable street situation.'

Cllr Fergie Kehoe said the staff at Ozanam House were very professional and said he 'didn't think Wexford has a homeless problem to the same extent' as other towns. 'The staff are very accommodating and find accommodation for people who show up at short notice.'

Cllr Tony Dempsey wondered if it were possible to extend the facility to cater for more people.

Ms. Hore said that 'where we see the big challenge is accommodation at the women's refuge. It's only a four bed unit and we are working to expand that and if we hear of funding we will be making a submission.'

Cllr Deirdre Wadding said there was a 'huge need for expansion' adding that the staff at the women's refuge needed a similar set up to that at Ozanam House.

'A lot of people arriving there are very traumatised.'

She also wondered if the council had a cold night policy whereby certain buildings would be opened up on very cold nights for homeless people to avail of.

Wexford People

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