This April, Trustees and staff from DPI, the wider Depaul Group and Depaul’s partner organisations (Famvin Homeless Alliance and the Institute of Global Homelessness) gathered over 2 days on Zoom for the Group’s first ever virtual Annual Assembly.

The Assembly began by reflecting on the Vincentian response to adversity, especially in relation to the Covid-19 crisis.

The wider programme included celebrating the achievements of the previous years. The highlights were providing over 2.2 million meals and helping 42,300 individuals through the services of the Depaul Group in seven countries from 2018-2020. Video highlights prepared by all members of the group were shown to showcase the work and commitment of the Depaul Group, even during the toughest times. These included guided tours of various projects, from Depaul France’s Accueil Périchaux day centre and Depaul Slovakia’s St Vincent’s Nightshelter.

A highlight of the Assembly included a Keynote Speech on ‘the Journey of a Refugee’ presented by Sarah Teather, Director at Jesuit Refugee Service UK, which explained the intersection of refugees and homelessness. This issue was then brought into a wider context as staff interacted in breakout rooms to discuss how Depaul could best serve refugees in subsidiary countries.

One attendee described the Assembly as ‘powerful’ explaining that everyone ‘left with a strong message of emerging from the pandemic crisis with a sense of collective confidence and optimism about the future’. Regardless of obstacles, the Depaul Group has persevered to ensure the poorest of the poor were never forgotten.