Christmas can be a difficult time for people impacted by homelessness. Here is some information on services that are available during this period, and details on opening hours for services and government offices.
Services Access to Emergency Accommodation If you need access to emergency accommodation in Dublin please contact the Central Placement Service on Freephone 1800 707 707.
Besides Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the Housing First Intake Team will operate a normal service. On Christmas Day, a smaller than normal team will be in place with staff working from 9am – 3pm.
In addition to that, there will be a 24/7 on-call function in place on Christmas Day, so there will be staff available to help those in need. As both are Bank Holidays, the same applies to St. Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Eve, with the team operating the same service outlined above.
On New Year’s Eve there will be teams working across the 9am – 3pm and 12pm – 8pm shifts, in addition to a 24/7 on-call function. You can contact the team on 01 872 0185, or on 1800 805 820 if you are an existing tenant.
Advice for Rough Sleepers
If you need access to emergency accommodation in Dublin please contact the Central Placement Service on Freephone 1800 707 707.
It’s also worth noting that the Merchants Quay Night Café will be open across the Christmas period and provides a warm, dry space for those who need it. You can only access this service by calling the Central Placement Service on Freephone 1800 707 707, who will then refer you into the Merchant Quay’s Night Café.
Merchant’s Quay will be open 7:45am – 1:00pm and 5:30pm – 8:30pm on Christmas Eve, and closed all day on Christmas day except for the Night Café. There will be an Extended Day Service only from 5:30pm – 8:30pm on 26th, with regular services resuming from December 27– 30. The day service will operate from 7:45am – 1:00pm and 5:30pm – 8.30pm on New Year’s Eve, with extended Day Service from 5:30pm – 8:30pm on New Year’s Day.
* The Night Café opens from 11:00pm – 7:30am every night of the year.
Information and Advice Centre
Peter McVerry Trust’s Information and Advice Centre will run on a half day on Christmas Eve and is closed on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. It will reopen for Big Breakfast on Friday, December 27. The centre will then close for the weekend, as it usually is, and reopen on Monday, December 30. The centre will run on a half day on New Year’s Eve and will be closed on New Year’s Day, before opening again on January 2, 2020.
The Capuchin Centre, located on 29 Bow St, Arran Quay, Dublin, will be closed on Christmas Day but will operate on normal hours during the festive season. They will also be offering Christmas dinner on December 21 and another dinner to mark the New Year on December 28. These events are open to all.
RDS Christmas Dinner
Hosted by the Order of the Knights of St Columbanus at the RDS in Dublin, over 400 people attended the annual Christmas dinner for those experiencing homelessness in 2018. A meal is provided as well as entertainment for those who attend. There will be pick up points across Dublin for anyone who wishes to avail of the dinner. If you are a client of a service in Dublin, your key worker will be able to advise you where the pickup points are located.
Freephone and Parkgate Hall
The operation of Parkgate Hall in Dublin and the Freephone for Christmas is as follows:
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, Parkgate Hall open from 10am to 12 noon. The Freephone will then operate from 2pm to 2am.
From Christmas Day to New Years Day, Parkgate Hall is closed and the Freephone will operate from 10am to 2am daily. Parkgate Hall and Freephone revert to normal hours from Thursday 2 January 2020, i.e. Parkgate Hall 10am to 4pm and Freephone 2pm to 2am weekdays and 10am to 2am weekends and bank holidays.
For families experiencing homelessness, Christmas can be a worrying time. Families may be tight on space to store children’s Christmas presents or may worry that other families’ children might compare toys received.
Families may also feel incomplete as they are not in their own homes or separated due to homelessness.
Families at risk of experiencing homelessness, should be aware of the following: Local charities who offer extra support around this time of year, i.e. St Vincent DePaul and local fundraisers that may be of benefit to them. You can also make contact with the Community Welfare Officer for support.
In Peter McVerry Trust’s family services, activities will be organised by the team in the run up to Christmas for the children. Staff will prepare Christmas dinner on Christmas day and St. Stephens Day for our families and every child in the service will be given a Christmas gift.
Saint Vincent De Paul
For those in emergency accommodation. Saint Vincent de Paul volunteers will be visiting families in the lead up to Christmas to ensure that help required by way of food or contacting Santa for the children is arranged in time for Christmas Day. Click here if you are in need of help.
Mental health supports Christmas can be a difficult time and it is important to look after your mental health during this period. If you are linking in with services, please speak to your keyworker who can support you. You can also contact The Samaritans on 116 123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The HSE also has a guide on how to look after your mental health during Christmas – click here to access it.
Opening hours for social welfare, banks and post offices Social Welfare opening hours All of the Department of Social Protection’s offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and Thursday, December 26, and Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
Banks and Post Offices
All the Banks in Ireland will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and will not re-open until Monday, December 30. Banks will also be closed on January 1, 2020. Post Offices will close at 1pm on December 24 and will not reopen until Monday, December 30. Post Offices will also be closed on January 1, 2020. There will be no mail delivery or collection on December 25, 26 or 27.
Weekly social welfare payments collected from the Post Office
All people who are paid weekly and collect their social welfare payments at Post Offices or are paid by cheque – will get a double payment in the week commencing December 16. This will be their normal weekly payment plus an advance/”double” payment for the following week. There will be no “regular” weekly payments during the week beginning Monday, December 23. Any weekly payments due for collection on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 will be available for collection on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
Monthly social welfare payments collected from the Post Office
Payments due for collection on December 25 and 26 will be available on December 23. Benefits due for collection on December 27 will be available on December 24, while those due on January 1, 2020, will be available on December 31, 2019. Child Benefit payments due for collection on Tuesday, January 7 will be unaffected.
Weekly social welfare payments paid into bank account
During the week commencing December 16, all those who are paid weekly into bank accounts will receive their normal payment plus an advance payment for the following week. Payments will be made on the usual day. Normal payment arrangements will resume from Thursday, January 2, 2020.
Monthly social welfare payments paid into bank account
Monthly payments due in accounts on December 25 and 26 will be paid on December 23. Payments due in accounts on December 27 will be there on December 24 and those due on January 1, 2020 will be paid in on December 31, 2019.