Finglas Councillor David Costello has welcomed the appointment of a new Overall Site Coordinator at the Abigail Homeless Centre in Finglas.
It comes after residents raised grave concerns about a spike in crime, anti-social behaviour and public drug use, believed to be linked in part to overcrowding and mismanagement at the recently opened centre.
The centre, which opened on the site formerly known as St Laurence’s in December 2014, can house up 60 homeless women. It is being used as a halfway house for inmates released from the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy. There are serious concerns that many of the residents are chaotic drug users and are not in a facility that is capable of catering for their needs.
Following a number of large public meetings and a campaign by public representatives in the area, management at Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive met with public representatives and local residents to find a way forward.
Local Fianna Fáil Councillor David Costello explained, “At these meetings I called on the council to appoint a manager to oversee the running of the Abigail centre. Our biggest concern has been that a facility like this in a residential area must be managed properly to ensure that there is no adverse impact on local residents. I very much welcome the decision by Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive to appoint an overall site Coordinator to the centre.
“The Coordinator, Eddie Matthews, is a specialist in addiction and homeless services and began his work this week. He will oversee and support the service providers in relation to the current issues. He will consult with the local community and review the service model in place to ensure that the needs of local residents are respected.
“I very much look forward to working with Eddie to ensure the centre is managed effectively while a long-term plan is being put in place to meet the concerns of local residents. There must be a sustained effort to ensure that resident’s voices are heard in relation to this issue. Their quality of life must not be affected by the operation of this centre.”