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Belvedere Social Housing

In January 1991 Belvedere College Students held a seminar on social involvement in the college which was attended by some past pupils and current students. Fr. Peter McVerry SJ gave an inspiring insight into homelessness and related social issues. It was proposed that Belvedere College Union should open a residential unit for boys who have experienced homelessness, thus Belvedere Social Services was established. A sub-committee of Brian Merry, Richard Dennis R.I.P. and Ivan Hammond R.I.P was formed and a property in Glasnevin was purchased. It was opened as a unit for six boys funded through the Belvedere College Annual Sleepout, the Annual Belvedere Ball and private donations. The residential unit was closed down temporarily and re-opened in 1996 with a manager and qualified staff team. Funding was negotiated through the Eastern Health Board. BSS is mainly still funded through the HSE with some generous donations obtained through the Belvedere College Sleepout / Peter McVerry Trust.

BSS has continually developed over the years and currently operates as a specialised registered child care unit, which offers semi-independent residential care to 6 young men between 17 and 21 years. AIB Better Ireland Programme supported BSS with some refurbishment in 2003. In 2006, BSS made significant renovations / refurbishment to the building. This was kindly supported through the Belvedere College Sleepout and the HSE. BSS also gained an independent flat in 2007, provided by Dublin City Council. This is available as short term transitional accommodation to aid the process of moving from semi-independent to independent accommodation. The purpose of BSS is to provide advice, advocacy, individual support, structured programmes and placement planning to young people. This provision is extended to ex-residents in the context of aftercare services.

In early 2011 it was agreed that the house would remain under the ownership of Trustees of the Union, but would be fully operated under the umbrella of the Fr Peter McVerry Trust.

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