AN Taoiseach Micheál Martin praised the work of housing charity Sophia during an emotional visit to its new Cork complex.
The Turner's Cross native helped the charity, which provides homes with support as a solution to homelessness, mark its first Christmas at their new Cork complex.
Mr Martin was on hand to add the finishing touch to their Christmas tree with a key-shaped decoration to symbolise hope for families after a year of extreme hardship. While numbers were restricted due to the pandemic, An Taoiseach made sure to extend his festive wishes to service users of the organisation.
Speaking about the initiative Mr Martin said: “Sophia is a charity that brings hope and security to people and families when they need it most. Their compassionate and holistic approach to homelessness has transformed lives for over 20 years. I’m delighted Cork City Council and the Department of Housing were able to provide over €1 million in funding to help Sophia acquire permanent, quality homes here at The Hollies for families and individuals moving out of homelessness."
Cork Manager for Sophia, Nora Marie O’Keeffe described the occasion as a "very important day for the charity."
"In visiting Sophia Cork An Taoiseach is reaching out to our residents, staff and supporters throughout the country. What we in Sophia do is support people who have been affected by poverty, exclusion and homelessness. We are a charity with a strong focus on individuals. Sophia has a relatively low profile but makes a big impact on the quality of life of the people and families we support”
Welcoming Sophia’s new development Brian Geaney, Assistant Chief Executive on behalf of Cork City Council added: “Cork City Council is very pleased to collaborate with Sophia Housing to provide support to families experiencing homelessness. This impressive development is a credit to all involved and it will provide people with a fresh start in their own homes for the New Year. The Council is looking forward to continuing its relationship with Sophia in finding more solutions to address homelessness in the City”.