Outhouse is a community and resource centre for LGBT people, their families and friends. It is based in central Dublin. Its primary goal is to offer a safe space for people to inform, meet, organise and make things happen. Outhouse is very often the first point of contact for people into the LGBT World and also the place in which lots of groups and organisations have started off in.
When we first constituted in 1996 there was virtually no LGBT services or spaces in Dublin, and over the years we’ve built up experience on how to make the centre sustainable.
The building is owned by, and held in trust for, the LGBT community by a company that is limited by guarantee (this means no individuals profit from the asset).
Outhouse staff and Board encourage wide participation, both in the use and running of the centre. Outhouse’s volunteer base is crucial to its functioning and we welcome those who wish to contribute to the community with time or particular expertise.
If you need a space to meet, organise, celebrate or perform something, think of taking a look at the spaces that are available in Outhouse.
Our vision is of a vibrant and safe space for LGBT people, groups & organisations that is inclusive of the diversity within our communities.
Our mission is to provide a safe space which facilitates & encourages the growth of services & supports to the LGBT communities.
In all of our work we are guided by principles of community, equality & partnership.
Outhouse is a community resource centre to be proud of and a place to be cherished. It is a valuable community asset that has been built up and protected by volunteers and core staff since it constituted as an organisation (a company limited by guarantee with charitable status) in 1996.
When Outhouse first opened its doors in April 1997, in a leased premises in South William St, it offered something very unique in the city -a space in which a wide range of LGBT groups and interests could securely and safely develop along the lines that those groups themselves elected. It is still an entirely unique space in Dublin.
The focus was on providing information, a safe drop-in space and café, as well as meeting spaces and support facilities for individuals and groups. Throughout our years of development this focus has remained central.
Whatever the type of support, be it entirely social or sport, or be it around coming out, ageing or alcohol, the staff, Board and volunteers have always seen that the role of Outhouse is to provide space for community to develop and flourish.
In 2001, the present premises at 105 Capel St was purchased (by mortgage). The old city-centre Georgian building was affordable because it was in such a rough, semi-derelict condition - plaster falling off walls rough. It was with the dedication of the Board, staff and volunteers that it is in its current restored state today (its restoration is limited by the fact that it’s a ‘listed’ building).
Nearly every inch of space has been renovated (just the front hall and stair-well to finish for which we have a fundraising drive at present - feel free to donate!), One significant and regretful limitation of the building is that only the ground floor Café sitting room, and the new theatre venue are fully wheelchair accessible. In the future, when Outhouse moves to a purpose-built venue (our firm intention) this significant issue will be addressed.
A big part of Outhouse’s work and focus up until the present day has been the building project itself. For the most part, the renovations that have been undertaken have been done on a shoestring and through application for grants for the individual elements – a grant for the windows, for the plasterwork, for the roof, etc – mostly from different agencies, or under different applications. Each of these has had to be carefully managed and accounted for, and that oversight has taken a lot of energy and time. However we feel that the improved facilities have made it all worthwhile. A separate page will be available with the history of the building project separately and uploaded here.