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Drogheda Homeless Aid

Cause Description

We aim to restore dignity and hope by providing care, support and shelter for homeless men, while encouraging self-development, independent living and ultimately resettlement.


St Joseph's Hostel now caters for 25 residents at any one time. On average, 120 residents will stay in the hostel each year.

We have two transitional houses. Both are two bedroom houses and residents from our hostel can move in to them for a period of six months in order to prepare them for independent living.

We also have three long term houses, which currently have tenants living in them.

Our resettlement team of 4 people currently have a large number of resettled clients that we visit on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, depending on the level of support they need. 

We have resettled over 1,400 men in the last 14 years.  


Drogheda Homeless Aid was set up in 1982 by Sr. Cait Fitzgerald to cater for the growing number of homeless people in our community, and since then has provided accommodation, care and support for over 4,000 homeless people, many of whom have resettled into our community and are living independent fulfilled lives. In 1999, the old cottage from which Drogheda Homeless Aid operated in 35 North Strand was demolished, and the construction of our new 22-unit purpose built hostel commenced.

The new hostel was officially opened in September 2000 by Minister Dermot Ahern, and was funded by the Department of the Environment and Local Government under the Capital Assistance Scheme.  St. Josephs Hostel now caters for 31 residents at any one time. On average, 120 residents will stay in the hostel each year


  • Sr. Cait Fitzgerald established a meal service in a building belonging to the Daughters of Charity in Fair Street.
  • An advertisement was placed in the local newspaper inviting interested persons to attend a public meeting on homelessness. From this group the Drogheda Homeless Aid Group was established.
  • A small cottage in Newtownstalaban was offered by its owner Mr Tom O Reilly for Drogheda Homeless Aid.


  • Some improvements were carried out to the cottage by Anco a state-funded employment organisation
  • All meals were served and prepared at the Cottage as the Centre in Fair Street was being sold to the Community Services.
  • A Clothes Shop was opened first in Fair Street than in Scholes Lane.
  • The Group formally became The Homeless Aid Committee. Don Gardiner was elected Chairperson.


  • We began to seek alternative accommodation because the Cottage had begun to be inadequate. Paul Lappin came up with 35 North Strand, Drogheda. The owner was Teresa Smith.
  • Community Chest Lottery, The Daughters of Charity, the Cistercian Monks in Collon, Drogheda Cares at Christmas donated for buying and repairing the premises.


  • News broke out about the purchase of the house and the residents of the area set up an action group to campaign against the shelter.
  • In spite of all opposition we decided to take up residence on Friday 8th March 1986. 
  • The men from the Cottage moved in to the new premises. We decided to name it Saint Josephs.
  • Dr. Harry Barry attended our meeting and offered his services as a voluntary counsellor to the group.
  • Approximately eighty men were accommodated each year in Saint Josephs.


  • The E.E.C. free beef and butter scheme was announced.
  • We had an inspection from the Fire Officer and on his recommendation we had to install fireproof doors, emergency lights, fire alarms and a fire escape in St Josephs. We received a grant of 8,000 from Social Welfare to do this work.
  • We also received a grant from Combat Poverty Agency (C.P.A.), which we used to purchase a second hand pool table and to furbish the garage as a recreation area.
  • Homeless Aid held an open day to thank the people of Drogheda for their support and to enable them to come and visit the house and see the work we did.
  • We purchased 12 Ship Street for homeless women in Drogheda.


  • Gerry OBrien was elected Chairman to replace Don Gardiner.
  • The new Housing Act 1988 obliged Housing Authorities to pay a contribution to Voluntary Organisations towards the homeless. Tony Tynan, Director of Simon Dundalk, arranged to meet Gerry OBrien with the suggestion that we carry out a research on homelessness in the county.
  • 44 Francis Street was given to us by the Siena Convent.
  • We became a company, Drogheda Homeless Aid Association, in March 1988.


  • Brian Dillon and Jo Murphy Lawless commenced the research.
  • We purchased 26 North Strand to replace 12 Ship Street with a grant of 29,349, from the Dept. of Environment for homeless women. We named the house St Louises.


  • A Seminar on the final Report of Brian Dillon and Jo Murphy Lawless was arranged on 20th February and Rory O Hanlon, Minister for Health was invited to launch the Report in the M.M.M. Auditorium.
  • Michael Clarke was elected Chairman.
  • We purchased 15 Greenhills with a grant from the Department of Environment for 18,000 processed by Drogheda Corporation.
  • We succeeded in setting up a Block Mounting business in the Stables on Bachelors Lane, owned by the Augustinians. The Social Employment Scheme began and we were allocated four persons on the scheme, two as Caretakers and two for Block Mounting.


  • Sean OConnor was elected Chairman and held this position until the year 2000.


  • Our garden at the rear of St Josephs was slipping. We were also anxious to buy 34 North Strand. Both houses were diagnosed as sub-standard. We had no alternative but to demolish the house and re-build.
  • The Block Mounting project moved to Constitution Hill. The FAS Scheme was expanded and we were allowed 11 participants and a Supervisor.


  • The Block Mounting project moved to Duke Street. As we had to look beyond our own residents for more qualified employees in the Block Mounting, FAS were unable to subsidise a project that would be in competition with ordinary businesses.


  • Theresa Wood put in a successful application for a grant on our behalf to Peace & Reconciliation, this programme was set up to help employment in the border areas.
  • Homeless Aid and FAS enabled two of the workers to start their own business in the BlockMounting by renting the equipment to them at a nominal rate. The two workers ran the business for twelve months.
  • Approximately thirty women and children used St. Louises each year. Without funding for night supervision we were obliged to close St. Louises.


  • The Clothes Shop folded as we had failed to procure new rent-free premises.
  • Homeless Aid expanded its FAS community employment scheme to provide staff and our own Supervisor Theresa Wood to assist the newly established Drogheda Womens Refuge to open.


  • St Josephs was demolished 29th May 1999. Arthur OLeary was seconded on to the Committee and was invaluable to us. He prepared an architectural design for the new building.
  • A successful application by Theresa Wood was made to apply for funding for a Co-ordinator and Settlement Officer.
  • Michael Dredge was chosen as Co-ordinator and Jim Curran was appointed as Settlement Officer.
  • The first Sleep Out was organised to raise funds and awareness for the new building.


  • Karen Smyth was appointed to fill the post of Manager and Francis Regan took up the new Resettlement Officers post.
  • The Official Opening of the new 22-unit building St Joseph was held on the 20th September 2000. Mr Dermot Ahern Minister of Social and Family Affairs did the honours at this day.

Where Your Money Goes

Any donations Drogheda Homeless Aid receives goes towards the sustenance of our services. With the rising issue of homelessness our services are under severe pressure. Two of our biggest costs are food and resettlement. These are our priority services as we strive to make a difference in our community.

Cause Registration

Revenue (Charities Unit) (CHY): 8721

Charities Regulatory Authority (CRA) : 20021795

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Contact Us

Contact Details

35 North Strand, Drogheda, Louth, IRELAND - A92 F802