History of Depaul
Depaul is a charity helping people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Depaul believes homelessness has no place.
We exist to serve homeless individuals or families, at risk, caught in the spiral of homelessness, deprived of all control of their lives. When every door is closed to them Depaul is there because we believe they deserve help to rebuild their lives and progress to a positive future.
We approach this:
With compassion and a willingness to do whatever it takes no matter what. With expertise and professionalism so the most excluded homeless people get the help they deserve and are not overlooked or ignored. We don’t stop there; we innovate when services are needed. We advocate for hard-to-reach groups and are willing to take risks to make sure services exist for homeless people.
We want to end homelessness and change lives
Depaul is a cross-border organisation working in 5 main areas of service provision;
- Families & Young People
- High Support Accommodation
- Health & Rehabilitation
Depaul shares close links with the SVP as one of our founding partners but we are a separate charity addressing homelessness. Depaul was established in 2002 in Ireland and 2005 in Northern Ireland. It is now a leading cross-border organisation. Our focus is upon those experiencing homelessness and marginalisation, who need vital support and the opportunity to realise their true potential. We offer support and guidance to break the cycle of homelessness, and assist our service users in making positive choices for their future.
In the beginning…
Three of these organisations came together to establish the Depaul Group in 1989 – the Daughters of Charity, the Passage Day Centre and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Depaul began its work in the UK in 1989 as a direct response to the growth of youth homelessness on the streets of London.
It quickly grew into a national charity in the UK and, in 2002, began expanding internationally, starting in Ireland where it introduced a new approach – low threshold – which had a significant impact on the issue of rough sleeping. Building out of the experience in Ireland the group then expanded to other European countries and the USA.
St Vincent dePaul
We owe our inspiration to St Vincent de Paul, a major Catholic social reformer in 17th Century France. St Vincent devoted his life to helping vast numbers of poor, sick and homeless people across Europe during his lifetime. He is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Charity” and today over 150 charitable organisations, comprising a membership of two million people, claim him as their founder.
A Global effort
All Depaul Group members are independent entities in their own right and focus on the specific needs of people experiencing homelessness in their country. From its very beginnings Depaul has been inclusive of all faiths or none. What holds us together as a Group are our Vincentian values which come directly from the teachings of St Vincent de Paul himself. These values include a commitment to helping the poorest of the poor and to placing actions ahead of words.
Vision & Mission
Our Vision is of a society in which everyone, across the world, has a place to call home and a stake in their community.
Our Mission is to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it.
- We celebrate the potential of people.
- We put our words into action.
- We aim to take a wider role in civil society.
- We believe in rights and responsibilities.
- Depaul believes homelessness has no place.
We exist to serve homeless individuals and families, caught in the spiral of homelessness. When every door is closed to them, Depaul is there because they deserve support to rebuild their lives and progress to a positive future.
We approach this:
- With compassion and a willingness to do whatever it takes, no matter what.
- With expertise and professionalism so the most excluded get the help they deserve and are not overlooked or ignored.
- And we don’t stop there – we innovate when services are needed.
- We advocate for hard-to-reach groups and are willing to take risks to make sure that services exist for those experiencing homelessness.
Our Work Today
Since 2002 Depaul has grown from a small Dublin-based charity to become a significant leader in the homeless sector addressing homelessness in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
We currently manage over 30 specialised accommodation and outreach services for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness in Dublin, Belfast, Dungannon and Derry/Londonderry.
We provide over 600 bed spaces per night and last year we supported over 3,500 people through our accommodation and community based services.
Our Mission is to end homelessness and to change the lives of those affected by it.