Councillors in Derry have been called upon to back a proposal calling for core funding for the Foyle Haven Day Centre.
Councillors have been invited by UNISON Community Branch to attend a public rally of support due to take place outside the Guildhall on Thursday at 3.30pm ahead of the full council meeting.
Foyle Haven is a frontline day service which provides accommodation, food and support to vulnerable people including street drinkers and those who are homeless.
A rescue package was organised last year after Big Lottery funding came to an end, and further funding has now been secured to keep the service going up until June 2017, but fears have been expressed over its long-term future.
Those campaigning for core funding have stated that “uncertainty over the Haven’s future is creating tremendous anxiety.”
Campaigners have said that in the six months since the 2016 rescue package, there have been around 4,000 visits, and around 100 people using the facility.
Depaul, which runs Foyle Haven said it has secured interim funding which will allow it to continue until June 30 and were actively working with funders to secure long term sustainable funding “as a matter of urgency.”
Welcoming the public support for the project, Kerry Anthony, CEO of Depaul, said: “For the past 15 years Foyle Haven has provided a safe haven to the city’s most vulnerable people.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support and funding we have received for this vital service to date. Our priority is the well-being of the people who depend on our service, and we continue to strongly advocate and urgently call for a commitment for long term sustainable funding.”
Sinn Féin Assembly Candidate Elisha McCallion who, as Mayor, established a working group to assess the situation and seek funding that would secure its future, said there were now a number of “active applications which are pending decisions and I am confident that come June funding will continue.”
Colr. McCallion added that they have been working with Ms. Anthony to progress the funding issue.
“The Working Group will meet again in the coming weeks to plan a sustainable way forward,” she said.