Tus Nua Apartments is the first service of its kind in Ireland supporting women leaving prison. The service is funded by the Probation Service and works in close partnership with the Dóchas prison and the Probation Service in delivering safe secure accommodation for women with complex needs and a support programme aimed at preventing recidivism.
“At Tus Nua they believe everybody deserves a second chance, they are down to earth and treat everybody with equality and the utmost respect”
Tus Nua was established by Depaul as a result of research and visits to prisons in Dublin by the Guild of St. Philip Neri, and a St. Vincent de Paul conference, who recognised an acute need for programmes to assist women released from prison in their transition to independent living in the community.
It is well known that without effective transitional support for people leaving prison there is a high re-offending rate, especially those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless upon release and this is what the Depaul team work with the women in Tus Nua to prevent.
The service aims to prevent the risk of re-offending by supporting women to recognise their short-term and long-term needs upon leaving prison. The support offered also includes learning life skills and identifying opportunities, to assist the women living in Tus Nua to manage independently. It is also vital that the women are encouraged to take a positive role in their community.
“The women who live in Tus Nua inspire me, I see incredible resilience, even after facing stigmatisation, loneliness and fear I see the women persevere through the difficult times”
Tus Nua accommodates 15 women in single rooms for up to 6 months. Each room is furnished and contains a kitchenette. All residents have access to communal spaces and the garden.
Each woman is appointed a keyworker. Together they identify a support plan for their stay which covers life skills, budgeting, alcohol harm reduction, detox access, and physical and mental health support.
The professionally trained staff also assist in accessing more suitable long-term accommodation for each of the residents. Tus Nua aims to provide time and space during which women can address the problems which led to their housing crisis and prison sentence.
‘I came from a very bad place in my life, I’ve been through homelessness and addiction. I thought there was no hope after leaving prison. I had a bumpy road but I suppose you have to go through the ups and downs in Tus Nua to get where you want to get’