Minister to discuss homelessness at Cork Penny Dinners

Minister to discuss homelessness at Cork Penny Dinners
Caitriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

THE Minister of State for Housing will visit the Cork Penny Dinners next week to discuss the issue of homelessness in Cork.

Damien English TD is meeting with UCC academic, Fiona Chambers, and Maynooth lecturer, Trevor Vaugh, who are spearheading a research project ‘WickED’ looking to tackle homelessness as an issue in modern society.

The visit by the Minister of State follows a previous think tank that also took place in Penny Dinners where a number of individuals came together to try and get to the root of the homelessness problem by discussing the issue with homeless people themselves.

Among those that attended the think tank were Senator Jerry Buttimer and Head of Housing at Cork City Council, Brian Geaney.

Speaking about what they are hoping to achieve from meeting with Minister English, Dr Chambers said that they wanted to share actionable insights with him and seek a mandate to test out these insights to see if they can work to aid those in homelessness.

Dr Chambers said the next step for the WickED project was to run small experiments on how to tackle homelessness using the insights they gained from the previous workshop and see if they work.

At present, the UCC Head of the School of Education said that the WickED team were working on analysing the findings of their workshops and seeking feedback on their ideas from Catriona Twomey among others.

Dr Chambers said that there are people volunteering their time and resources all the time to the WickED project and most recently, Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and Professor of the Faculty of Education at York University Steve Gaetz has gotten involved in the initiative, which is fast becoming an international scheme.

Discussing how the behind the scenes work of WickED is going, Dr Chambers said:“There is a great energy in the group and I am feeling very optimistic about the project.”

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