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Newry City Councillor, Cllr Michael Savage believes a glamping pod warehouse initiative to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people championed by former Man Utd and Celtic striker Lou Macari could be replicated here in Newry.

Councillor Savage who has been driving initiatives to tackle the housing and homeless crisis in South Down has spoken with the Scotland legend with a view to bringing the initiative to the city and district.

Lou Macari
Lou Macari

He spoke with Lou Macari this week on the phone and he has offered support and guidance to try and get a similar venture up and running here.

 He said: “I reached out to Lou by email after seeing media reports about what he had achieved during the Pandemic to assist people struggling to get a roof over their heads in his home town of Stoke. 

“Getting people housed and dealing with homelessness is an issue I’m passionate about so I was thrilled when Lou called me and we had a long chat on the phone about the housing crisis across South Down and the chronic shortage of emergency accommodation and how his initiative to provide pod accommodation in a warehouse in Stoke could be replicated here. 

The Homeless Pods.

“I now intend to explore this option further with the brilliant frontline workers in the local housing and homeless sector to see if we can provide similar accommodation to the many, particularly young and vulnerable citizens, from South Down who need temporary emergency accommodation and currently have to travel to Belfast or Derry to hostels, isolated from family and friends.

Cllr Michael Savage.

“Lou has agreed to offer support and guidance to try and get this off the ground here and is very supportive and open to potentially being involved in our housing needs conference in the autumn to talk about his experiences with homeless people.

“I look forward to driving this idea forward locally and keeping in contact with Lou in the months ahead.

“Lou Macari was one of my childhood footballing heroes. He was a legend on the pitch and he’s certainly become one off it.

They say you should never meet your heroes but it was a pleasure.”

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