The Open Access Service was based at 26, Upper Sherrard Street, Dublin 1 from 1984-2018. The services and participants who previously engaged with this service are now supported via our Information and Advice Centre at 12-13 Berkeley Street, Dublin 7.
History of the Open Access Service
It began as an administrative office for Fr Peter McVerry SJ however, young homeless people began to call to see him there and so it developed into a small, informal drop-in centre, where young homeless people who have nothing to do during the day could come to relax, meet others, make cups of tea, have a sandwich at lunch-time, use the telephone, wash their clothes or use it as a left luggage facility – while Fr McVerry continued to work unaffected by the chaos around him!
There was no criteria for admission, everyone was welcome.
The Open Access Centre, while preserving its informal, homely atmosphere, also accommodated the Streets to Home team who are available to offer advice and help with accommodation, legal problems or other needs. This development enabled us to provide a more structured approach to the multiple needs of young homeless people. It also enabled us to direct some young people to the newly opened Stabilisation Service, where a structured drug stabilisation programme is offered.