With the Irish general election called for Saturday, February 8th, 2020, our staff worked hard to ensure that people in our services are registered to vote ahead of the deadline.
After the election date was called, staff held a number of information and advice sessions to make sure people have the help they need to change their address, secure a postal vote, or register for the first time.
The right to vote is a hallmark of equality and inclusion, and we are dedicated to helping people experiencing homelessness have their say.
In total, we helped 58 people register to vote and a further 27 people successfully change their address.
Before the election we spoke with Wayne, one of the people we have helped to secure their vote. As Wayne pointed out, beyond helping with registering, our staff support people with all paperwork – be it in relation to employment, education or legal matters.
“They are (helpful) yeah, any issues I’ve ever had, the Trust has been great. With any paperwork or anything I’ve ever had, or any problem, they’ve been great. Even with my court papers for my kids, they were great,” said Wayne.
With his address successfully changed, Wayne had the opportunity to express his views via the ballot paper and uphold his civic duty to have a say in the formation of the next government and their policies.
“I think people in homelessness need a voice,” said Wayne.
“The promises of “homelessness is going to change” and different things – it hasn’t. It takes somebody to get injured, or somebody to die, before they react. I just think, me personally, without Peter McVerry or Peter McVerry Trust I think homelessness would be in an awful way, I really do. I don’t think the government is doing what they should be doing. So, I think it needs a change. I certainly think anybody that can vote, should vote,” he added.
“You shouldn’t voice your opinion or have arguments if you don’t actually get out and vote because it’s down to every individual person. If they want things to change, they have to actually get out and vote and if you don’t get out and vote, well then, don’t be complaining about things because you haven’t tried to change things yourself,” Wayne concluded.