"As CEO, I am very proud of the work of our staff in 2020. Once again, they have demonstrated a clear commitment to our ethos and values and delivered in incredibly challenging circumstances. Our major mobilisation on Covid-19 and response in partnership with statutory partners and other NGOs saw the charity work with almost 3,000 people."
Our Work In 2020
In 2020, Peter McVerry Trust supported over 7,800 unique individuals across our services.
Over the course of the year we supported over 1,300 people into housing, our Housing With Supports team made a total of 50,000 home supports visits to social housing tenants across Ireland, and by the end of the year we had provided over 600 permanent homes to people in need.
“Just a place to settle down and make a few new friends and just get on with my life, it’s excellent.”
Craig, the first Peter McVerry Trust tenant in our CAS funded social housing scheme in Fermoy, Co Cork, which opened in June 2020.
In 2020, Peter McVerry Trust delivered more homes for people in need than ever before. The charity delivered critical housing, mainly by way of one-bedroom apartments across multiple Local Authorities, and advanced and progressed major new construction projects in several Local Authority areas.
In all, over 150 housing units were delivered by Peter McVerry Trust in 2020 to help people impacted by homelessness across Ireland, growing the charity’s housing stock by 20% to 600 social housing units.
“I became homeless because of domestic violence. The support I got from Mary alone was absolutely brilliant, she’s like a mammy figure to me.”
Louise was one of the first residents of the Westside Modular Family Hub, in Galway City. With the support of our staff she was able to secure a new home for her family after six weeks with us.
Communications and Advocacy
In 2020, Peter McVerry Trust continued to build awareness of the charity, its work, and the solutions to the issue of homelessness, particularly through regional and online media.
The charity secured high-profile, regular media coverage of its response to Covid-19 in partnership with the HSE, DRHE and IPAS.
Given the General Election in early 2020, the year marked one of regular, high-level engagement with politicians, incoming Ministers and their advisors in relation to a broad range of issues. Peter McVerry Trust met regularly with the new Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien TD and our CEO Pat Doyle was appointed to the high-level task force on homelessness, as well as the high-level task force on housing supply.
“Things are a lot better now. Once you get your own place you get that self-confidence. I’m very happy where I am. I’ve got good support links and it’s a nice quiet town and there are nice neighbours in it.”
Mick, a Housing First tenant in Co. Westmeath, was housed in the week ahead of Christmas 2020.
In a year that delivered significant changes to the fundraising landscape, a number of digital fundraising initiatives were launched, resulting in support across a wide range of virtual events from head shaves and marathons to our first virtual Wexford Cycle and the Calcutta Run.
High-impact initiatives like social influencer Lisa McGowan (Lisa’s Lust List) raising over €160,000 through an online raffle, and our emergency response to Covid-19, provided a platform to secure vital funding.
Corporate partnerships continued to drive support for our work, such as those with Just Eat, Meagher’s Pharmacy Group, Harvey Norman and Esprit Investments. New collaborations include a philanthropic partnership with the Irish American Partnership, which will support Peter McVerry Trust Learning Centres over the next 5 years.
“I can build up my future now because I have that stability, because I have that security. I know that I’m safe.”
Jasmine became homeless at the age of eighteen after spending seven years in State care and is now one of the young people housed in our Aftercare Housing units.
While the core staff headcount is down on 2019, the actual number, including core and relief staff, is up by 7% from 668 staff in 2019 to 717 as of 31st December 2020.
The 2020 Graduate Programme commenced on 21st September with 33 graduates from 26 different universities and third level colleges. This marks the seventh year of the programme.
Our partnership with IT Carlow continued in 2020 with the rollout of the Higher Diploma in Applied Social Studies in Social Care programme for Peter McVerry Trust staff. A total of 22 staff were accepted on the course for the 2020/2021 academic year, which brings the total number of staff to 64 over the last three years.
Given the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation took the opportunity to move the majority of our training online. At year end, the charity had 30 online training modules.
“Before living here, I was actually in a homeless hostel with my daughter in Tralee, for approximately a year and a half. We were in a constant limbo land of uncertainty.”
Spencer is one of Peter McVerry Trust’s first tenants in Co. Kerry. His family is accommodated in one of 15 two-bed apartments secured by Peter McVerry Trust for social housing in Killarney, which became operational in September 2020.
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