A homeless charity has revealed it helped source move-on accommodation for over 30 people who were living in Direct Provision in Dublin in 2019.
Depaul provided in-reach support as part of a new initiative which was set up by the Department of Justice and Equality at the beginning of the year.
The charity provided in-reach support to both Balseskin and Hatch Hall accommodation centres, working with families and individuals who have been granted legal status to remain in Ireland. Hatch Hall direct provision centre was closed on short notice in July of last year.
Currently there are 5,645 people residing in 36 accommodation centres throughout Ireland, excluding the National Reception Centre, Balseskin. An additional 1,633 people were staying in emergency accommodation. At present there are over 1,024 people residing in accommodation centres with some form of status.
Depaul’s CEO David Carroll said:
“We are aware through our own research that there are people who have previously been in direct provision accessing homeless accommodation.
“That is why we feel this initiative is so important as it mitigates the risk of people ending up in homeless services once they have been given the legal right to stay in Ireland.
“There are challenges in sourcing accommodation for everyone in the current housing market, but those leaving accommodation centres face particular challenges including language difficulties and issues filling out forms.
“To see people and families finally have a place to call home here in Ireland after many years of waiting and to know we played a part in that is a great thing.”
The Secretary of the Department of Justice and Equality, Aidan O’Driscoll said;
“I very much welcome the valuable work being done by Depaul in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Equality.
“This initiative is one that my Department is proud to support as it assists people with permission to remain in Ireland to move out of accommodation centres and into mainstream housing in our communities, enabling them to begin the next chapter in their life.
“Working with Depaul, my Department hopes to continue this initiative and look forward to further collaboration and progress in assisting new members of Irish society to source more permanent homes.”
With the help of Depaul Sibusiso Lowrene, a single mother with two young children, was supported in moving out of Direct Provision and into the community in Dublin.
She came to Ireland in February 2016 after fleeing her home country of Zimbabwe due to conflict and civil unrest, she says;
“We are happy now. When we first came to Ireland my kids were telling me ‘Mammy, let’s go back’.
“This is painful. Living in Direct Provision was a real challenge.
“I told them you need to be patient, one day things will change.
“They didn’t understand at the time.
“I am working as a carer now and I am really happy to be contributing and being a part of the community.
“The support Depaul gave me, they showed me I can still do more than what I was expecting.
“I just want the best life for my kids.
“To go to school and have their own families and not to live the life I lived.
“I know they are here (Ireland) and they are free.”
Throughout 2019 Depaul say they provided support to 392 adults and 328 children living in accommodation centres across seven counties in Ireland. In the same period Depaul worked with over 40 different nationalities including people from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, India, Egypt, Ukraine, Togo, Yemen, Venezuela and Liberia.