An Taoiseach Micheál Martin at the transfer of services at Deerpark House, which he opened in 2002, with Depaul CEO David Carroll and SVP National President Rose McGowan. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Charities reach agreement

Depaul has taken over the management of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) homeless service in Cork city, it was announced this week.

Monday saw the handover of SVP’s St Vincent’s and Deerpark House, which respectively have 73 and 51 places for men, to Depaul, a charity supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

SVP announced in September 2020 it was planning to transfer the management of its homeless services to other charities with specialist expertise in the sector.

SVP said it’s transferring the management of seven hostels to Depaul due to its high level of specialisation in service delivery specifically in relation to the changes in Government policy and the broader landscape. Crucially, the move benefits those who use the services, said SVP. An Taoiseach Micheál Martin attended the transfer of services at Deerpark House, which he opened in 2002.

He said: “This transfer demonstrates the responsibility, foresight and vision of two organisations coming together to have a positive impact on people facing homelessness. Our Housing for All plan seeks to support our most vulnerable by significantly increasing the number of tenancies for those experiencing homelessness and who have more complex needs.”

He added: “Yet the pathway to eradicating homelessness is bound up with the constructive contributions of organisations like Depaul and SVP, working together in a progressive and transformational manner to meet the ever-changing needs of people facing homelessness.

“Having originally opened this centre in 2002 as Minister for Health, I would like to commend and thank the staff and volunteers of SVP who have tirelessly worked over the years to support those affected by homelessness and housing insecurity.”

Depaul CEO David Carroll said: “This has been an extensive process to ensure the smooth transition of service delivery always with the service user in mind. We would like to acknowledge the work of SVP in these services for many years which have helped so many people affected by homelessness. SVP staff and volunteers at these hostels have brought comfort to many and brought many others into a more settled environment.”

SVP National President Rose McGowan said: “SVP is proud of the services we have provided at Deerpark since it opened nineteen years ago. We know that Depaul will continue what we started and we wish them, the service team and service users the very best of luck in this next chapter.”

Established in 2002, Depaul now manages more than 30 specialised accommodation and outreach services and in 2020 supported more than 3,500 people.