First published: 2015-02-17 16:16:06
Drogheda Homeless Aid in association with Drogheda Civic Trust and with the support of State Street Drogheda, launched on the 29th January 2015 an innovative new programme called My Streets Drogheda.
The vision of My Streets Drogheda is the empowerment of the former and current homeless population of Drogheda to take positive action within their own lives and support them in the process of regaining their own confidence and playing a positive role in the community. This is to be achieved through teaching and training clients and recently resettled people of Drogheda Homeless Aid to provide personalised walking tours of "their" town.
The idea was inspired by similar projects in Canterbury, Prague, London, Barcelona and Berlin whereby social enterprise was recognised as being capable of creating a positive perception of homeless people as well as generating employment to reintegrate former homeless people back into society. All of these projects have proven that this model is a powerful tool in creating positive change in individuals and the communities they inhabit.
Ten participants have been enlisted onto a training programme of personal development, confidence building and oral presentation skills which are aligned with both historic content and the trainees own narrative of "Their Streets". Training began in September and we are delighted both with the high caliber of trainers that have made their time available and the initial enthusiasm and progress of programme participants.
RTE Nationwide came to film My Streets Drogheda on Saturday, the 24th January 2015!
Tours will be launched during the Drogheda Arts Festival on the May Bank Holiday weekend and will run during the rest of 2015 and into the future. All proceeds from tours will be split 50/50 between programme participants and costs associated with running the project.
We are delighted and honoured to announce that Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy has come on board as patron of My Streets Drogheda programme.
She said: "This is a great new project that will help to breakdown stereotypes around people who are homeless. We all know only too well the terrible damage being homeless does to families and individuals. I believe it is vital more needs to be done to deliver housing to help tackle the situation. This project will help people who are homeless to secure housing and move on” by giving them more confidence and skills enhancement.
Trainee tour guides Luke Kelly (left), Martin Reilly (centre) and Terry McGuinness (right) explain the My Streets Drogheda project to Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan and Michael Dillon of State Street
We are also most grateful for the sponsorship support of State Street in the development of this programme.
“We are delighted to support this project, touching on our town’s wonderful heritage while supporting a wonderful initiative with the clients of the Drogheda Homeless Aid” commented the Chair of Drogheda Civic Trust, Denis Cummins, as My Streets Drogheda is a brainschild of Drogheda Civic Trust.
TD Minister of State Gerald Nash added that he had seen similar programmes work very well in other cities across the world and that he had no doubt that it will be a huge success in Drogheda also.
Welcoming the move, the Chairperson of Drogheda Homeless Aid, Paul Murphy, conclued: “This unique initiative by Drogheda Civic Trust would prove an invaluable contribution to the individual lives of residents of Drogheda Homeless Aid and to the organisation itself in helping individuals play a full role as participants in the local community."