President Michael D. Higgins supports Home Sweet Home

More Hollywood A-Listers have also been championing the Apollo House cause.

As the Apollo House occupation reaches its most crucial stage, Home Sweet Home have received the support of President Michael D. Higgins who says in a press interview: "The great news now is, one, that consciousness has increased - the second is the willingness of volunteers to come forward... and the generosity of the people."

Meanwhile, more big names have rallied to the Home Sweet Home cause.

"Irish friends, my pals Glen Hansard and Jim Sheridan standing up for their unfortunate countrymen," messages Edward Norton.

Adds his fellow Hollywood A-Lister Judd Aptow: "Please support the work of HSH Ireland as they fight homelessness and poverty!"

"Glen Hansard and Jim Sheridan are good men," proffers singer Josh Groban. "Standing up for their less fortunate countrymen."

In a January 1 statement, the Home Sweet Home team say: "Apollo House welcomed in the New Year with music, fanfare and a list of demands on where they want to be in 2017. Campaigners believe these demands are achievable and necessary to guarantee everyone currently housed in Apollo House will be safe and secure after January 11th, the current date as ordered by the courts to leave. Campaigners and residents believe there is no one size fits all. They call on government and councils to meet with residents to understand and fulfill the demands made to ensure no one is left on the streets.

"Many residents who have been on the social housing waiting lists for years want to be securely housed. 'I’ve been on the waiting list for six years,' says Mitzalo, who became homeless when he was unable to afford rising rents and utility costs. 'I didn’t want to go to a six-month bed in homeless accommodation. I went to view it and there were no windows in the room. This for me was really depressing. It was dark. There are hundreds of thousands of boarded up houses being wasted. Places like these should be opened up to people in need.'

"'We have been on the housing waiting list for seven-years. We’ve been sleeping on mats in Merchant’s Quay night by night before we came to Apollo,' says Cheryl who is staying Apollo House with her partner. 'When we’re put in hostels as couple it’s really hard. I’d be placed in one part and my partner would be placed in another so I couldn’t see him. Our dream for 2017 is to be permanently housed.' Cheryl and her partner got engaged in Apollo House after making the building their home for over two-weeks now.

"Another resident who wishes to remain anonymous and who has also been homeless for many years says she wants a secure place for their family who have all been through homelessness. 'We need a secure place. We’ve been in a constant state of insecurity and you can’t break the cycle of homelessness with that.'

"Other residents want to be placed on the Housing Assistance Payment scheme, so they can rent.

One resident says because of the level of trust he has with all other residents in Apollo House, he would love to stay with them. 'We trust each other here. I want to buy a big house and stay with everyone.'"

In another development, Apollo House has launched a nightly mobile outreach team to support other homeless people, and promised to publish a full list of donations and expenditure.

 

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