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Over Christmas, Depaul supported hundreds of single men and women, families and children, via its accommodation and community outreach services in Dublin.
This new year, we are calling for policy measures to tackle the causes of homelessness, and to prevent homelessness in 2016.
230 people spent Christmas 2015 in a Depaul homeless accommodation service in Dublin. Dozens more received support from Depaul’s community outreach services in the city.
Christmas is a difficult time for the homeless and can compound the mental and physical illness, addiction, and social isolation that disproportionately affect the homeless population. Christmas is particularly stressful for homeless children, many of whom worried if Santa would even know their address.
Our staff and volunteers did our best to bring joy to the individuals and families using our services. Thanks to the kind support of businesses such as Publicis, Salesforce, McCabe’s Pharmacy and Bank of Ireland, and individuals in the community who donated meals and gifts, every person using a Depaul service this Christmas received a Christmas dinner and a Christmas gift. At our annual Christmas party, homeless children met Santa and received their gifts.
However, the gift that these children most need is for us to commit to solving the homeless problem in 2016. It is critical that we provide long-term housing and pathways out of homelessness.
We must accelerate the provision of social and affordable housing to meet the 25,000 new homes required annually, increase rent supplement, and implement solutions to prevent homelessness.
Let us ensure that the children who woke up homeless on Christmas Day, this year, will wake up in their own homes on Christmas Day, 2016.
CEO of Depaul
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