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Over 250 people helped to exit Direct Provision during Covid-19 pandemic

Homeless charity Depaul has helped 256 people move out of DP centres in recent months.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Michael Dechev

MORE THAN 250 people have exited Direct Provision since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and moved into private accommodation, according to Depaul.

In total, the homeless charity has helped 256 people move out of DP centres in recent months.

The people in question have been granted legal status to remain in Ireland.

From 1 March to 31 August, Depaul helped 140 adults and 116 children, including 55 families overall, move into new accommodation and avoid homelessness.

People living in Meath, Dublin, Monaghan, Galway, Sligo, Mayo and Louth were supported to move into private accommodation.

Commenting on the figures, Depaul’s CEO David Carroll said: “Given what the country is dealing with at the moment we are really happy to see such a big move-on rate in terms of our work within Direct Provision.”

Carroll said Depaul has adapted its work practice to continue supporting those in need during the pandemic.

Case workers have been linking in with families and individuals remotely since March, but face-to-face meetings resumed in July as restrictions were eased.

“We have still managed to provide vital support and help to help families and individuals move on from Direct Provision and to integrate into communities all across Ireland and to become part of Irish society,” Carroll said.

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Centres closing

Depaul previously worked with people living in Direct Provision in Dublin in 2018 when both Watergate and Georgian Court centres were faced with closure, and in 2019 when Hatch Hall accommodation centre was closed at short notice.

The charity helped people residing in these centres source mainstream accommodation, preventing them from falling into homelessness.

By the end of August 2020, 5,465 people were residing in 44 DP centres throughout Ireland, excluding the National Reception Centre in Balseskin where there were 284 people. An additional 1,408 people were staying in emergency accommodation at this time.

At the end of July, there were 810 people residing in accommodation centres with legal status to remain in Ireland.

This Depaul initiative became operational in March 2019 and is funded by the Department of Justice. Last year the charity helped 328 people exit DP centres, including 168 adults and 160 children.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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