The centre runs two specialised services for young people aged 12-19.
What we offer
Lefroy House has two specialised services that look after children and young people who are experiencing family breakdown: the Nightlight project for 12 to 17-year-olds and the support flats for young people aged 17 to 19.
18-year-old Sean, from Dublin, found a haven at Lefroy House.
Sean was brought up by his mother but spent most of his days alone in the house, which eventually led to him falling in with the wrong crowd and taking drugs. Sean's family lost their home when he was just 16, and he was placed in state care.
Sean came to Lefroy House at the age of 18 and the staff there were able to support him through his studies and attain the qualifications he needed to take up a sports scholarship in the USA.
Sean said: "The Salvation Army enabled me to turn my life around. With the support of my keyworkers I moved away from toxic friendships and drugs. The Salvation Army helped with my living arrangements and have given me hope for the future. I take all the help I’m given."
As a recognised provider of care for young people, The Salvation Army was commissioned in 1999 to launch the Nightlight project. It is the first and only emergency care and accommodation provision for young people of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.
Up to seven young people can access the Nightlight project each day – from 5pm on weekdays and from 1.30pm at the weekend.
Highly-trained Salvation Army staff work in partnership with the Crisis Intervention Service – an out-of-hours emergency social work service for under-18s provided by the Health Service Executive – and social work departments in and around Dublin to find young people alternative accommodation with family members, significant others, emergency fostering placements or a short-term residential unit.
Nightlight remains the only place available for young people who have nowhere else to go. Once an assessment has been made by a social worker, a young person may be placed in one of the emergency beds at Nightlight for one or a number of nights.
We are committed to providing a safe environment at Lefroy House where young people receive warm meals and clean clothing, and have access to showering facilities and a variety of leisure facilities such as a pool table, books, DVDs and video games. The young people are also able to take part in educational activities and go on outings to places like the cinema, go-karting and indoor rock climbing.
Many of the young people supported by Nightlight have complex needs ranging from mental health issues and psychological disorders to self-harm, substance misuse and aggression. The Salvation Army operates a high-tolerance ethos and young people are not discriminated on the basis of their behaviour. In order to maintain a safe environment for everyone, all staff are trained in the principles of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Assist, which is in line with the policies of Tusla.
Since the introduction of an earlier opening time of 5pm, care staff have been able to engage young people in more meaningful activities. Young people have a say in the activities on offer as well as choosing meals and how the food should be cooked.
Other areas looked at include health and education where care staff encourage young people to establish and maintain a daily personal hygiene routine and look out for common ailments.
Following the launch of the Nightlight project, The Salvation Army recognised that providing emergency accommodation would not be enough to address the long-term needs of young people.
In January 2004, in partnership with Tusla, we opened semi-independent apartments above Nightlight to give young people guidance and support on living alone after coming out of the care system. Highly-trained staff are on hand 24 hours a day to help young people build up their life skills, get back into education, training or employment, and restore or nurture family relationships.
Being out of the family home can be overwhelming for young people but Salvation Army staff and chaplains are there to meet their emotional needs with professional therapeutic care.
The young people also have opportunities to take part in a range of activities – which are planned out during weekly residents’ meeting where young people can make decisions on what to do and where to go.
Once young people have moved on from Lefroy house, the team is still available to provide individual after-care support. For many young people, Lefroy House becomes their home and the only family they know. Over the years staff have been invited to birthday celebrations, christenings, funerals and even a wedding.
Seeing people, not labels.
Homelessness is a reality of our society. From street homelessness to those battling addiction, the services we offer put the person and their needs at the centre of their support - enabling people to take control of their life circumstances.