Father Donal O'MahonyFrom its inception, Threshold had a vision of co-operation. Its underlying principle was to be an instrument of peace - emerging from the matrix of a flat-dwellers' chaplaincy geared to young people, and those on low incomes, and Pax Christi, the international movement for justice and peace.
Threshold was convinced that adequate housing was a human right. It initiated and developed a service to prevent homelessness by offering:
- an independent professional advisory service;
- a preventative education programme;
- research to awaken public awareness and offer assistance to various statutory and non-statutory bodies;
- Cork's 'Gilabbey Court' - a programme offering short-term tenures to couples as a springboard to purchasing their own home.
Building towns and cities in the 21st Century is a worldwide challenge - two-thirds of the planet's inhabitants will become city dwellers. A major task facing Ireland is how to address, in housing, the segregation between rich and poor, aged and young, family and non-family, urban and rural, as well as the hostel and street homeless. Threshold will be an invaluable player in this scenario.
As governments strive to make the new Ireland a place where different cultures meet and mingle, where suitable, affordable, accessible and flexible housing can lay the foundations for peace, harmony and solidarity, Threshold is uniquely placed to contribute with its skills, philosophy and more than 20 years' experience.
Threshold has every reason to be hopeful as it enters the new millennium.
Father Donal O'Mahony ofm Cap