IRELAND'S HOMELESS crisis is showing no signs of abating, as thousands continue to struggle without a permanent place to call home.
There are dozens of charities in Ireland dedicated to helping those struggling to find permanent accommodation or living on the streets, from helping them to find a bed for the night, something more permanent, or helping them deal with addiction issues.
One such charity is DePaul, which has assisted an estimated 23,500 people-- and in 2020, as the threat of the pandemic loomed, they went above and beyond to secure unused buildings to further protect some of Ireland's most vulnerable from the virus.
In their recently released Annual Report for 2020, Chairperson of DePaul, John Murphy, revealed they "managed to move on 554 men, women and children into their own accommodation, a significant achievement in the midst of a pandemic", and an increase of 40% from the previous year.
The charity also opened a Dublin-based Family Hub which concentrates on women emerging from substance use treatment and their children, and provided 'shielding' beds both north and south of the border for elderly and immunocompromised homeless people at the greatest threat from the pandemic.
Figures from the DePaul report shows just how vital their service is-- in 2020 alone, 772 children facing homelessness were helped by the charity, with 410 families reaching out for assistance.
Eight babies were born while in the service of DePaul, who, without the charity, could have been born into homelessness.
In all, 3,542 men, women and children were supported by DePaul in 2020, assisted by the 164 volunteers who gave their time to help those in need.
The charity operates 30 services across the island of Ireland, including in Dublin, Mayo, Meath, Derry and Tyrone.
You can learn more about their vital work on the DePaul website here.