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+353 1 823 0776
9am – 5pm
Monday -Friday
Information and Advice Number
087 912 3989
9am – 5pm
Monday -Friday

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Homeless Service Provision During Visit of Pope Francis

The national housing and homeless charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has said that it is confident that its homeless services will not be negatively impacted by the papal visit and that any families presenting in need of homeless services will be able to avail of the appropriate supports. The charity was commenting as it outlined plans it has put in place, in partnership with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), ahead of the Pope’s visit.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We have been coordinating and preparing our response to the papal visit for the past few weeks and we’ve approached the event in a similar manner to our response to major incidents such as Storm Emma or Storm Ophelia. As we finalised our plans we continue to engage multiple times per day with the DRHE around appropriate response to support needs.”

Frontline Staff and Service Supports

“For Peter McVerry Trust our first objective has been to work with our frontline staff to make sure that they are available, that they are aware and have planned their journey to and from work taking into account any traffic restrictions and additional traffic volumes.”

“We have also been working with our staff to ensure that we have pre-empted any impact on the 750 people and 74 families who are accessing our emergency homeless services across Dublin on a nightly basis. This would include people that may be attending rental viewings, clinics, training or presenting to employment and we are supporting people with their plans for the days when traffic restrictions are in place.”

Accessing All Areas and Engaging Rough Sleepers

“The Housing First Street Intake Team, which is the primary response to the needs of people sleeping rough in Dublin, will be operating as normal. We have been advised by the civil authorities and Gardaí that we will have access to all areas necessary. Whether access is in our outreach vehicles or pounding the pavement on foot we will ensure that we reach and support people sleeping rough regardless of restrictions for the general public attending the events.”

Ring-Fenced Accommodation

Mr Doyle also confirmed Peter McVerry Trust had set aside ring-fenced accommodation for late night emergency presentations. “We will continue to respond to the needs of families presenting late at night in need of emergency homeless accommodation. We have been making accommodation available in exceptional circumstances to numerous families and should families present to the Freephone late at night we will be able to accommodate them in placements in Dublin.”

Exceptional Transport Supports

The charity also confirmed that it had made its transport vehicles available to help people reach their accommodation, particularly those on the outskirts of the city. “We recognise that for some people the traffic disruptions and the huge volume of people travelling in and out of Dublin may make it difficult for them to get to their emergency accommodation in hotels on the edge of the city. Therefore, we have notified the DRHE that should it be necessary our vehicles will be available via the Freephone service to transport people in homelessness to their emergency accommodation.”