Irish president praises homeless shelter during Birmingham visit

President Higgins meets staff from Tabor House

Irish president meets Tabor House staff

Pictured: Pat Breen TD, Sabina Higgins, President Higgins, Jo Watters, Sharon McCall and Sharon Fear.

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, met staff from Birmingham homeless shelter, Tabor House, during yesterday’s visit to the city.

President Higgins visited the headquarters of the Birmingham Irish Association, which is one of the founding partners behind Tabor House. Project manager, Sharon Fear, volunteer coordinator Sharon McCall, Jo Watters and Christy Acton of Father Hudson’s Care, and Mary Keenan from the management committee attended the event.

Sharon Fear, Sharon McCall and Jo Watters met the President and told him about Tabor House. They talked about the work it is doing to transform the lives of people experiencing homelessness. He praised their hard work, thanking them for all they do to help homeless people turn their lives around.

Jo said she was pleased to have the opportunity to tell President Higgins about Tabor House and the work it does helping homeless people to make a fresh start. Since opening in September 2017, volunteers at the shelter have supported ten people to move into their own accommodation. They have helped yet more people to move back in with families or shared living arrangements. Volunteer mentors assist guests with finding training, managing debt, building their employment skills – whatever they need to bring about change.

During his visit to Birmingham, President Higgins paid tribute to the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings and their families. He laid flowers at a memorial by the Birmingham Irish Association, the Justice4the21 campaign group and Network Rail. It marked the start of a three-day visit to England, with his wife, Sabina Higgins, and Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Business and Employment.

 

About Tabor House

Tabor House is a collaborative project between Father Hudson’s Care, the Birmingham Irish Association, Midland Heart, Housing Justice, the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, corporate philanthropists, and local homelessness specialists. Together they have formed iShelter—a new homelessness organisation that aims to help homeless people turn their lives around. Birmingham charities Midland Heart and Sifa Fireside refer people to Tabor House for support.

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