Thomond House was founded in 1993 and provides housing and a host of support services for women at risk and homeless in Limerick. It is currently the only hostel for women in the Mid-West. The main aim of Thomond House is to provide emergency accommodation and support services for women over 18 years old but they also provide services such as long-term housing for women over 50 years old and stability transitional housing for women, men and families.
It provides up to 24 beds of emergency accommodation and support services for women over 18 years who are “at risk” and homeless. A needs assessment and housing evaluation informs placement and care planning. The emphasis is on the homeless persons’ well being and finding them suitable housing. Service delivery is in partnership with the HAT Statutory Multi-Disciplinary Team.
Comfortable secure accommodation is provided together with the basics of food, clothing and personal items. Staff and residents at Thomond House make people welcome, try to assuage their fears and help them relax in their new environment. A contact person is linked with new residents to familiarise them with the scheme’s services. A key worker ensures that each client’s health, social and housing needs is assessed. Through ‘Individual Care Plans’ the client is given support, guidance and appropriate referral to tackle issues identified in needs assessment.
‘Statutory Homeless Action Team’ (HAT), the back-up professional support, is provided by a multidisciplinary team which includes: Coordinator, Team Leader, Health Nurse, Psychiatric Nurse, Resettlement Officer, Community Welfare Officer, Youth Worker, and Tenancy Sustainment Officer. Settlement life skills training programme: home making, personal care, budgeting, hygiene, cooking and socialisation. In so far as is possible, residents are linked with family and friends. Clients are supported by Thomond House and the Homeless Action Team Staff in locating Private, Council or Voluntary Housing Agency long-term accommodation. Thomond House is funded by the HSE and Limerick City Council.
Thomond House is a much needed service in Limerick and are constantly receiving calls for beds but at the moment they are full but will always help as much as they can. People can be in Thomond House for many different reasons such as addiction, mental health issues, lost their homes, family breakdown or domestic abuse.
Caroline Power and Melanie Geraghty, members of staff at Thomond House, say ‘Thomond House have a strict policy that no one who comes through their doors will be discriminated against, they are made feel welcome and made it feel like a safe home environment for them.”