10 years of city refuge marked by big fit out

DAMIEN HOUSE 10TH BIRTHDAY!. . . . Gerry Burns, manager, Damien House, Foyle Road, pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Alisha McCallion, local politicians, dignitaries and staff on Thursday afternoon, during their 10th anniversary celebrations. DER1515MC082

DAMIEN HOUSE 10TH BIRTHDAY!. . . . Gerry Burns, manager, Damien House, Foyle Road, pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Alisha McCallion, local politicians, dignitaries and staff on Thursday afternoon, during their 10th anniversary celebrations. DER1515MC082

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A Londonderry charity that provides emergency accommodation for men with drink problems at its city centre Damien House facility has marked the housing block’s tenth birthday with a major refurbishment.

Gerry Burns, Project Manager, at Damien House, said the major refit is the icing on the cake for the Foyle Road facility, which has been run by First Housing Aid and Support Services since 2005.

He said: “Over the years the project has worked tirelessly with other providers in the city to prevent rough sleeping.

“This year we have worked with 120 people to help them tackle issues related to alcohol.

“In our ten years of operation we have helped over 1,000 people tackle their addictions.”

The project has been delivering services to men who are homeless and suffering addictions in the North West for the past 10 years.

And recently Habinteg Housing Association completed the major refurbishment of the building.

Mr Burns explained: “The service boasts 12 units of accommodation for people who find themselves in crisis due to alcohol addiction.

“Damien House is unique in that under one roof, First Housing can offer two models of service.

“A crisis response to people who find themselves homeless and in need of accommodation and a home detox to help people who live in the community access services for help with their addiction.

“We are ideally suited to providing help to those people who have no support at home helping them detox and deal with their alcohol issues.”

Eileen Best Director of Operations First Housing said:

“We are delighted with the investment and refurbishment completed by Habinteg Housing Association.

“This will ensure that those who are homeless, in crisis and in need of accommodation have the best possible experience of a home on their journey towards independence in the community.”