Jan O’ Sullivan TD, Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (with responsibility for housing and planning) today formally opened a new youth centre in Dublin’s south inner city which was created with the help of volunteer students from the United States.

Over 40 students from Notre Dame University gave up their free time to refurbish and decorate the new Teen Youth room at the Sophia Housing facility at Cork Street, Dublin 8. The new facility will be used by residents at the complex and local young people.

The project was undertaken by Localise, a youth and community development organisation, in association with Sophia Housing and the students who are currently undertaking studies in Dublin as part of their College course at Notre Dame.

Minister O’ Sullivan said: “I am delighted to formally open the new centre which illustrates all that is best in volunteering and giving back which is a cornerstone of the work of Localise. It is fitting that the great work of the Notre Dame students should be unveiled on America’s most special day, Thanksgiving.”

Localise Director Derek Cleary said: “We endeavour to promote the spirit of giving back. I can think of no better example of this than the hours of work the Notre Dame students contributed in transforming disused office space at Cork Street into a centre which will greatly benefit youngsters, both resident at the facility and from outside.”

Sophia CEO Declan Dunne said: “”Children can be forgotten when we think about the impact of homelessness. Sophia was set up to provide the nurturing and care they deserve. On Thanksgiving  Day we say thank you for these amazing children and the support we receive from Minister O’Sullivan and her Department every day.

“We are humbled that Localise and 40 US Students and the Alumni of Notre Dame University have touched the lives of these children in a practical way with the gift of this amazing new teen room.”

Alumni of Notre Dame provided materials and supplies for the project with designers Emily Westbrooks and Alex Carberry, volunteering their expertise and overseeing the completion of the facility.

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