T.R.Y helps keep young people away from drugs in Dublin's south inner city
A targeted youth intervention project will cease to operate in Dublin's south inner city if a funding stream isn't secured in the next four months.
Targeted Repsonse to Youth (TRY) has been operating out of the former St Theresa's Gardens flats on Donore Avenue since last year, and is helping to steer young men away from a life of drugs and crime.
Outreach workers Gary Lawlor and Karl Ducque approach young men in the area to engage with them and encourage them into services.
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They work sixteen hours a week and specifically target vulnerable 18 to 34 year old men who are 'hanging around.'
Gary Lawlor says they use a bridging model to engage young people who've never taken part in any other service.
"Building trust and relating to them is really important. So if they're out and about on street corners, that's where we have to be."
The youth workers say kids in the area who see the "fast cars and gold chains" and can default to drug dealing as a viable way of making a living.
However if they see young men getting jobs on construction sites like the St Theresa's regeneration project, it's a powerful way of changing the narrative.
Turning lives around
Karl Ducque says their primary goal is to get young people into gainful employment and steer them away from a life of drug dealing and addiction; peer mentoring is a powerful way of doing this.
"I grew up in a block of flats like this and I had a warped sense of the world because I was a product of my environment. But I was sick and tired of living in stigma and the way people (feel they) have to be. Like they can't change, and I just knew I could change."
Dublin City Council has funded the pilot project with a financial backing of €50,000, however it says it cannot continue to be the sole backer of the scheme.
If another agency can provide some of the funding next year, the local authority may make up the shortfall.
However Gary says they've not been able to secure a revenue stream and the project could collapse by August if support isn't found.
"This is a huge call-out to politicians. If you really do care about your area, try and make things work."