Homeless charity Depaul has revealed that during the Covid period (March to August ) they helped source move on accommodation for 13 people who were living in the Old Convent direct provision centre in Ballyhaunis. The number included eight adults and five children and three families.
During the same period the charity helped 256 people move on from Direct Provision centres across seven counties in Ireland. The figure included 140 adults, 116 children and 55 families.
Working exclusively with people who have been granted legal status to remain in Ireland the charity has revealed it had to change the way it supports families and individuals during Covid-19.
Case workers had been linking in with families and individuals remotely since March however, with restrictions easing face-to-face contact resumed in the month of July.
Depaul’s CEO David Carroll commented on the numbers helped: "Given what the country is dealing with at the moment we are really happy to see such a big move on rate in terms of our work within direct provision.
"This work plays a vital role in helping people move on from direct provision once they have been granted legal status to remain in Ireland.
"Since Covid-19 hit we have adapted our work practices enormously and I am proud to say we have still managed to provide vital support and to help families and individuals move on from direct provision and to integrate into communities all across Ireland and become part of Irish society."
By the end of August there were 5,465 people residing in 44 accommodation centres throughout Ireland, excluding the National Reception Centre, Balseskin where there were 284 people.
An additional 1,408 people were staying in emergency accommodation. At the end of July there were 810 people residing in accommodation centres with legal status to remain.
Depaul have previously worked with those residing Direct Provision in 2018 in Dublin when both Watergate and Georgian Court were faced with closure and more recently in 2019 when Hatch Hall accommodation centre was closed on short notice. Depaul helped people residing in these centres source mainstream accommodation, preventing them from falling into homelessness.