Peter McVerry Trust launched a number of different initiatives and housing projects in 2019. In this piece, we take a look back at what we achieved throughout the year.
We would like to thank everyone for their support in 2019, and look forward to helping more people leave homelessness behind in 2020 with your help.
Just Eat Takeaway Tuesday
In January, our partners Just Eat supported Peter McVerry Trust once again through the Takeaway Tuesday initiative.
This gave customers 10% off on card orders, with 10% of proceeds on orders going to Peter McVerry Trust. This initiative has raised over €40,000 for our services throughout the years.
Launch of housing in Kilbeggan and Ravenswood
In February, we launched new housing units in Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, and Ravenswood, Fingal.
The nine apartments in Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath were launched with funding from Rebuilding Ireland and in partnership with Westmeath County Council. The properties were previously commercial units and will now provide social housing for those living in the community.
Our new housing development in Ravenswood, Fingal, is the first greenfield project launched by Peter McVerry Trust. The eight units cater for those with high support needs. This project was launched with support from Rebuilding Ireland and Fingal County Council, with additional public donations provided by the Water Refund Project.
Harvey Norman Making Homes Appeal
Harvey Norman launched the Making Homes Appeal for the second year in a row in February.
From the 7th of February to 10th March, Harvey Norman staff held over 300 local fundraising activities both in-store and outside of stores. Generous customers also had the option of adding €1 to the Making Homes campaign at the till, by buying products in the Making Homes Collection and donating to fundraising activities.
They managed to raise €175,594 to help furnish 20 new homes with the Peter McVerry Trust. Overall, the Harvey Norman Making Homes campaign has raised a total of €359,287 for our housing projects.
New Repair and Lease property secured
In March we secured a new Repair and Lease property in Dublin 4. The home will be renovated to provide a high quality home and it will ideally accommodate a single person exiting homelessness.
If you are interested in leasing or selling a long term empty property, contact us on 01 823 0776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Post address point
An Post launched Address Point, which offered those impacted by homelessness an address at their local post office to enable them to access services such as banking or applying for jobs. They work with homeless service providers such as Peter McVerry Trust to deliver this initiative. Address Point is now used by 2,400 people.
Capuchins donation for housing
In April, the Capuchin Day Centre donated €5 million to Peter McVerry Trust to help fund our housing programme. We are very grateful for the generosity from Brother Kevin and all those at the Capuchin Day Centre and for placing their trust in us. This money was used to secure 25 new social housing units.
Google Impact Awards
A panel of advisors helped Google select 15 non-profits with innovative ideas for growing economic and social opportunity in Ireland, with Peter McVerry Trust among them.
As part of this, we were granted €50,000 for a culinary education and training programme in our services. The project aims to provide independence and long-term employment opportunities for those experiencing homelessness. A farm will be created onsite, for additional horticulture training and food production capabilities. Ultimately, we aim to develop an app to facilitate efficient food delivery to ensure a truly impactful initiative for their participants and services across Dublin.
Cycle for Good
Just Eat and dublinbikes launched the Cycle For Good campaign in May. The campaign saw Just Eat donate 10 cent to Peter McVerry Trust for every Just Eat dublinbikes journey taken in Dublin until 10 July. Cyclists raised an amazing €80,000 for our services throughout the campaign.
The 21st Calcutta Run took place on Saturday 18 May. Organised by the Law Society of Ireland and A&L Goodbody, the event brings together law firms in Ireland every year to raise funds for Peter McVerry Trust and the Hope Foundation. This year’s event raised €150,000 for each charity.
In May, Twitter Dublin announced Peter McVerry Trust as their selected charity partner for the second year running. They support us through biannual Twitter for Good days, which sees employees engage in activities to raise funds for Peter McVerry Trust.
Irish Charity Institute Awards
We were delighted to see CEO Pat Doyle claim the award for Excellence in Leadership at the Charity Institute Ireland Awards in June.
Pat was recognised for his leading role in tackling the homelessness crisis, from the emergency response during Storm Emma and the extreme weather event in March 2018 to developing new housing projects to lift people out of homelessness.
Reacting to the news, Pat said: “I was humbled by the win at the Charity Institute Ireland Awards. I view this award for all of us in the Trust, with staff doing their level best to respond to the homelessness crisis at the moment. Everyone’s fingerprint is on this accolade.”
There were six nominees for this Excellence in Leadership award from the following charities, including Barretstown, Jigsaw, Concern, Cystic Fibrosis, and the Central Remedial Clinic.
First Repair and Lease property secured in Cork
In July, Peter McVerry Trust secured its first property under the Repair and Leasing scheme in Cork City, with the hope that it will be the first of many in the county. The property is an example of Peter McVerry Trust’s ongoing efforts to bring empty and derelict buildings back into use as social housing.
Garden in Newbridge
The garden at our homeless service in Newbridge, Co. Kildare was renovated by Sabrina, one of the residents at the hostel, and the staff, who helped to brighten up the space for all the residents.
Ahead of the Budget 2020 announcement, we proposed a number of actions across three key areas; preventing homelessness, increasing the supply of social housing, and educational and employment supports, which we believed would strengthen efforts to tackle homelessness.
Rural homelessness report at Ploughing
At the National Ploughing Championships in Co. Carlow, we launched our Rural Homelessness Report which set out five key actions to help tackle rural homelessness as the number of homeless adults in rural counties rose to over 1,000 for the first time in May 2019.
The 30th anniversary of the Wexford Cycle took place on Saturday 14 September. We were delighted to see over 350 cyclists take part in the 135km cycle from UCD to Wexford Town, all the while raising vital funds for our services.
In September, Peter McVerry Trust formally took over the running of the Carline Learning Centre, an education centre based in Lucan which caters for young people aged 13-17 years old, excluded from or no longer attending mainstream education.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who took part in Trek Camino 2019 in support of Peter McVerry Trust. The group explored the eighth and final section of Camino Frances – covering 114km in total.
Dr Sam Tsemberis visit
Founder of Housing First, Dr Sam Tsemberis, visited Dublin in September and took the time to speak with staff in Dublin before sitting down with our CEO, Pat Doyle, and extending Peter McVerry Trust’s partnership with Pathways to Housing so we can continue to deliver Housing First across Ireland.
Repair and Lease home in Louth
Peter McVerry Trust announced the delivery of our first Repair and Lease home in Co. Louth. The long-term vacant property in Drogheda was returned to use, through the Repair and Leasing Scheme under Rebuilding Ireland, in partnership with the property’s owner and Louth County Council.
Opening Doors campaign
For this year’s appeal on 7 – 13 October, #ThePersonWho campaign was designed to acknowledge the work our brilliant staff do to ensure the individuals we work with can start to leave homelessness behind, and look to their future.
In addition to a range of fundraising events, social influencers like Andrea Horan (Tropical Popical), Rick O’Shea (2fm), Niamh O’Sullivan (Cinnamon Soul), and others, supported the appeal by recognising #ThePersonWho helped them, supported them, encouraged them and was there for them, whether that was a parent, friend, teacher or colleague.
The Shared Network launch
Following on from the launch of Address Point, The Shared Network was announced by An Post in October. This allowed up to 2,000 people, who are accessing homeless services, to access 3GB of data per month free of charge for three months from November 2019 to January 2020.
We were delighted to announce St. Agatha’s Court won the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) Community Housing Award 2019 – Regeneration Category, in White’s Hotel, Wexford on 10 October.
St Agatha’s Court saw a long-term vacant Dublin City Council flat complex, renovated to deliver 11 high quality housing units comprising of 10 one-bed apartments and one two-bed townhouse.
DCU education report
A major new research report by DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre and Peter McVerry Trust – Educational Gaps and Future Solutions – examining young homeless men’s experiences of the education system found a widespread need for reforms and additional supports for vulnerable young people in the education system.
Annual Report/New Street South
Peter McVerry Trust grew its housing stock by 40% in 2018. The announcement came as we turned the sod on a new social housing development of 8 apartments at New Street South in Dublin 8 on 19 November.
Michael D Higgins
We were delighted to host Uachtarán na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins, on 25 November. Peter McVerry Trust was marking the 40th anniversary of our first service, opened by Fr Peter McVerry in 1979. Today, the service caters for young people under the age of 18 who need residential care.
Social housing Clare
We started delivering social housing in Co. Clare for the first time, having secured six apartments in Ennis which will allow us to progress 13 people out of homelessness. We are working in partnership with Clare County Council to meet the housing needs of people impacted by homelessness in the county.
Christmas Carol Concert
Our annual Christmas Carol Concert took place in St Patrick’s Cathedral on 7 December. Thanks to the fantastic line-up of performers – RTÉ Cór Linn Youth Choir, Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir and Ardú – a festive night was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.
Rick O’Shea fundraiser
After raising a huge €51,000 for Peter McVerry Trust last Christmas, RTÉ broadcaster Rick O’Shea and his 28,000-strong book club are back again this December and, through sheer generosity, are raising funds that will support people out of homelessness.