An emergency meeting to discuss the future of Foyle Haven street drinkers day centre has been set up by the Mayor of Derry & Strabane Elisha McCallion.
The Mayor met with representatives from Foyle Haven yesterday to discuss the current funding crisis for the day centre and the threat of imminent closure.
Councillor McCallion is now in the process of arranging a meeting with key relevant stakeholders and organisations to agree a joint approach to secure funding and retain this vital service.
Pledging her support to the staff and users of the Foyle Haven, the Mayor said she will work with key stakeholders to do what she can to help them secure funding so the “essential service” is continued in Derry.
Foyle Haven day centre provides accommodation, food and support services to vulnerable members of the local community including the homeless and street drinkers.
The service is currently at risk of closing as funding is running out.
Mayor McCallion, who has visited Foyle Haven on a number of occasion and hosted events for the staff and users at the Guildhall in the run up to Christmas, said the facility is hugely important and that every effort must be made to ensure that funding is secured and the service retained.
She said: “The Foyle Haven is an essential service for vulnerable people in our city, for many of its regular users it’s a lifeline for them. Not only does it provide them with food and essential services, it’s a safe haven for them to congregate and interact and to find help and assistance in dealing with their problems.
“Many of the people availing of the services at Foyle Haven have fallen on tough times and in many case, through no fault of their own, have found themselves to be in a vulnerable position with no money, home or support.
“The Foyle Haven provides them with the support they need. It gives them the support they need to find solutions to their problems and a lifeline towards a better future. If this service is to close then I don’t know what is going to happen. These vulnerable people need our help and I will be working closely with my colleagues to do what we can to assist in sourcing funding and securing the future for this vitally important service.”