Depaul International is the parent charity of the Depaul Group, a group of charities that works across the world with a mission to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it.
We provide a platform for Group members to share and develop new approaches to ending homelessness – informed by best practice and stemming from their own experience. We also establish new subsidiaries in countries where we can improve what is on offer, or, where there is an identified lack of services for people experiencing homelessness.
We support other Group members to provide the highest standards of governance, finance and service provision. We also help develop capacity where needed, share expertise, support fundraising activities, and build networks of influence.
We ensure that the Groups shared Vincentian values are embedded in all aspects of organisational life and inform the decisions we make. To achieve this goal, we organise and develop training and formation programmes to make sure that everyone, from the front-line to the boardroom, understands and lives our values.
Depaul International (on behalf of the Group) partners with Depaul University in Chicago to oversee the Institute of Global Homelessness – a global research, advocacy and leadership development forum providing a global voice for the issue of homelessness. We also coordinate the Famvin Homeless Alliance that delivers practical partnership projects and lobbies for systemic change for homeless people across the world by bringing together homelessness charities that work in the spirit of St Vincent de Paul.
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.
St Vincent de Paul
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 and then to the other countries of the Group.
Sr Sarah King-Turner, Sr Barbara Smith and Mark McGreevy
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.
Celebrating 30 years of Depaul