CORK City Council is to invest in a second family hub for the homeless as the crisis continues to worsen.
The current family hub project on the Western Road opened in June of last year and provides temporary supported accommodation in addition to cooking and washing facilities for as many as 17 families at a time and is run by the Good Shepherd Cork.
The facility was a temporary home to 65 children and 50 adults in total up to the end of 2018.
Health and schooling supports and a family support worker are also provided to give the families options with regards to long-term accommodation.
City Hall director of housing Brian Geaney said the council has already found a building that may be suitable to provide families with the same facilities.
“The council has identified a property and an application has been made to the Department of Housing with a view to providing a second family hub in the city,” he added.
According to the latest figures, there are 70 families in emergency accommodation in the city.
Recently it emerged that a city family were forced to travel to Kinsale for emergency accommodation because nowhere could be sourced for them to stay in the city.
Councillor Thomas Gould (SF) said a second family hub will be full in no time due to demand.
“Last week I dealt with five families being evicted into homelessness. How can this be allowed to happen?” he asked.
Deputy Lord Mayor Thomas Moloney said the facilities at the family hub are better than short-term fixes.
“I think we were all fearful of what the first family hub would be but when we went and saw it and the facility that it is and how people use it, it is a hugely positive thing compared to putting families into B&Bs and hotels. It’s definitely worth looking at a second one.”
According to Fergal Dennehy (FF), hubs allow families a degree of autonomy that hotels and B&Bs can’t.
“At least with a family hub, people have a sense of dignity, a sense of security and it provides somewhere for families to live and cook and they are not under the scrutiny of the owners and can come and go as they please. The one on the Western Road is running really, really well.
“For what the council is paying for bed & breakfasts, it would be worth its while investing in another hub,” he added.