The official opening ceremony took place in Glenageary on Tue 4th October of a revamped family home which has been donated to St John of God Housing Association, for the dedicated purpose of serving as a permanent future home for 4 people living with intellectual disability.
The four-bedroom detached house has been generously donated by the parents of one of the occupants and has recently been upgraded and resourced with the support of the Department of Housing, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the HSE, to meet the individual needs of its four new residents.
The house is the former family home of Teresa O’Hare and her late husband Tom, who says the decision to hand it over to the Service was one they made many years ago, while making future plans for their only son Ryan who is a lifelong service user of St John of God Community Services.
“Ryan is our only child; he grew up in this house and so this is in many ways about his birth right. Because he has been cared for by St John of God Community Services throughout his life and continuing into the future, it seemed to be the right thing to offer our home to the Service so that he can continue to live here for the rest of his life. By securing Ryan’s future in this way, I am glad that it will also be home to three individuals supported by St John of God Community Services. My late husband and I always believed very strongly in the rights of people with disabilities and the right to one’s own home is surely at the heart of that.”
The Minister for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte TD, said it was her great pleasure to open the new residence in Glenageary – “I wish to acknowledge the hard work, the generosity, and the love that has made this opening possible. I want to extend my gratitude to Teresa O’Hare for her generous donation, the commitment of Saint John of God Housing Association, Saint John of God Community Services, the Department of Housing and the HSE to ensure the completion of this house. Collaborative efforts can make a difference. Today, you have all made a difference to the lives of four people and their families.”
Michelle Thunder, CEO of the SJOG Housing Association paid tribute to Teresa and Tom O’Hare’s generosity -“I wish to express my profound gratitude to the O’Hare family for this exceptional donation to St John of God Services. Unfortunately there are another approximately 3,000 people with a disability in Ireland, currently living with parents over the age of 70 and the national waiting list for housing is growing rather than reducing. While good progress is being made in providing housing for people leaving campus-based institutional living, this is the first house in 12 years that has been added to St John of God housing stock, specifically for the people who find themselves living at home with aging parents. More needs to be done to address this growing problem.”
St John of God Housing Association is an approved housing body and one of the largest housing associations of its type in the country, with the specialist aim to achieve a supported-living model of integrated-community housing