I am sure that many of you will agree that there is nothing more important than family. For me this includes my own, and our Depaul family along with the people who we serve. Over the last 30 years, I have taken much pride in seeing how the Depaul Group has grown and evolved, from its roots in a single project in London to now working in seven countries, supporting over 19,500 homeless and marginalised people each year.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has affected us all, and it is highly likely that it may go on for some time to come. Over the last few weeks, I have been touched to hear the many examples of how our Vincentian Values are being put into practice, most importantly by our frontline staff who strive to keep our vital accommodation and supportive services open, to help the most vulnerable in our society, whilst prioritising their safety and wellbeing.
Vincent de Paul himself lived in a time of many plagues and pandemics. His focus was always on ensuring the health of his colleagues whilst focussing on the needs of the “poorest of the poor”. 400 years later, we find ourselves in the same position, and I am sure he would be proud of our efforts.
I also wanted to let you know that within the Depaul Group we are working tirelessly to help with our global mission to end homelessness and change the lives of those affected by it. The Institute of Global Homelessness is collating and promoting best practice in different countries across the world and sharing it with practitioners in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The Famvin Homeless Alliance (which represents Vincentian homeless initiatives in over 150 countries) is encouraging local faith communities to fund the preservation of tenancies, and the provision of food and aid to those exposed to infection and at risk in locations such as slums and favelas.
The spread of this virus is reminding us again just how interconnected the human family really is. We are unique in that the Depaul family is similarly connected in order to respond to need at a local and global level.
However, our homelessness projects and services face unprecedented challenges, as our costs increase and uncertainty around our income grows. It has never been more crucial that we stand united to help those less fortunate than ourselves and who are at most risk from the Coronavirus. At this difficult time, we do need all the support possible to continue to keep them open. That is why it is vital that we continue to appeal for donations, and share news about the work that we are doing with you, our wonderful loyal supporters.
If at this challenging time you can support us, please do click on this link: https://int.depaulcharity.org/get-involved/donate which sets out how you can donate. Due to a current work from home policy in place at our central office, I kindly ask that if you can donate to please do so by BACS or via our website, rather than sending us a cheque, where possible. To obtain our bank details to enable you to send a BACS payment please contact Jason.Eades@depaulinternational.org.
On behalf of everyone at Depaul may I wish you the very best to you and your family in the coming weeks and thank you for your continued support.
With every best wish,
Depaul Group CEO