Report: Albert Perris
After almost thirty years of service to the people of Cavan and the North East, St. Peter’s Night Shelter in Cavan town has closed its doors for the last time. The service has assisted literally thousands of men over those years and helped address their most immediate and most basic need - shelter.
The service provided a welcome and practical response to the most basic needs of those out of home in the North-East at the time. But times have changed; the numbers and profile of people using night shelters have changed; and the way in which effective social services respond to the needs of people out-of-home has changed over those decades. The numbers of people using the service had declined significantly in recent years and the needs of those presenting to the service have become far more complex, demanding a more holistic, therapeutic and multi-disciplinary response.
Over the thirty years the Society has built up a substantial stock of high quality Social Housing in the town. After reviewing and monitoring the service over the past number of years, the Conference has taken the difficult decision to discontinue the service.
St Peter’s Conference which was responsible for the shelter said It was a painful decision and only arrived at following careful consideration of all the circumstances..
Over three decades thousands of homeless men were accommodated at the shelter. “This would not have been possible without the dedication of staff, committee members and hundreds of volunteers, men and women, who gave of their time freely and with great dedication”. said the Conference.
The Conference also says that it is very grateful to the people of Cavan who gave, and continue to give, so generously to the work of St Vincent de Paul in the local area.
The facilities will not sit idle however and the SVP in Cavan town are currently exploring other potential uses for the facilities and what other presenting needs may in future be best responded to by the SVP. All current residents of the service will be offered alternative SVP housing in the town, or supported to move on to independent living.
Thirty years of valuable service, to the most vulnerable people in the North East, is a legacy, of which all involved in the service over those years, can justifiably be proud!