€4.5m allocated for landmark Togher addiction centre
Funding for 31 special units in a flagship addiction project in Togher will be made available over the next two years, it was announced last week. €4.5m will be allocated to the Fellowship House Men’s Project.
The boost comes as part of a €100m funding package announced by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan. It means that nearly 800 social and voluntary housing units will be built countrywide, including 74 in Cork.
The funding means 100 jobs during the construction of the 31 new units. The full and part time staff of 12 at the centre will most likely be doubled after the units are built too. The contract will be going to tender immediately.
Fellowship House provides a 12 week residential extended treatment programme for men in recovery from alcohol, drugs and gambling. It works in partnership with Tabor Lodge where men and women first complete a 28 day programme.
Treatment Manager Finbarr Cassidy is very excited at the funding and says that the additions to the centre will make it a “prototype that will be used by the rest of the country”.
The Fellowship House project in Togher will be one of the largest of its kind in the country.
He is “glad to see the money moving beyond Newland’s Cross although it has taken long enough”.
“We are making a vital contribution to society in Cork. Dealing with addiction is dealing with the core issue of homelessness.”
Fellowship House has an average of a six week waiting list at any time but demand for their services is growing. According to Mr Cassidy, those presenting for services are getting younger and many more women are seeking treatment in Tabor Lodge.
“The glass of wine has replaced the cup of tea,” he added.
“We are inundated with clients from Castleisland in Kerry, Dublin, Mayo, Kilkenny and Bruree in Limerick. We are able to offer a complete package."
The funding announcement is the “culmination of eight or nine years work,” he says. The money will be used to build a new 16 bed treatment centre, nine different self-contained apartments for longer stay clients and another special centre which has six units for people with drug-induced mental issues.
In total, over €12m awarded to Cork projects which will provide 74 new social and voluntary houses. Cork Simon Community, Respond Housing Association in Blackpool, Ringaskiddy Special Needs and Cork Mental Health in Ballincollig are among the other groups to benefit.
Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan said at the announcement of the funding that “most construction projects are ‘infill’ development in existing communities which has the additional benefit of contributing to the vibrancy of a community, enhancing streetscapes and eliminating the risk of anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods”.
These new permanent housing units are intended to provide accommodation for people with special housing needs including the elderly, homeless persons and people with a disability.