Above: Demonstration at Apollo House last January. Photo by Thom McDermott.
In our last issue, we looked at the Home Sweet Home coalition’s occupation of Apollo House and the work of the volunteers that made the occupation possible. Today, on the day that former Minister of Housing Simon Coveney promised to end the practice of Emergency Accomodation, the coalition have announced a community grant scheme.
The scheme is to be announced today as a means of distributing the money raised during the Apollo House campaign to various grassroots community groups and organisations working to tackle the damage waged across society by the housing crisis.
Speaking to rabble, spokesperson for the Irish Housing Network, Tommy Gavin stated:
“The community organising grant is an attempt to channel the energy and resources that made Apollo possible into long term community power to effect political change.
Apollo House was an example of community affected organising. In this way the ethos and idealism of Apollo, which showed the ability to affect change through empowerment on a community level, can continue to directly empower local groups in tackling the housing crisis, firstly on a local level and building toward political change.”
With the Department of Housing now stating that there are 2,777 children in emergency accommodation, seven months after promising that this figure would be reduced to zero, the HSH is a timely reminder of the need for direct action.
The community organising grant is intended for groups involved in both ending homelessness or providing community resources. Applications will vetted by representatives from each of the organisations involved in the Home Sweet Home campaign.
If you are in a group that is a grassroots housing group, or in the provision of services to help those worst affected by the Housing Crisis you can download the application form for the grant from their website. The deadline for applications is July 31st.