Chief executives and senior staff from homelessness charity Depaul met up on 10 May at the European Parliament to highlight Depaul’s work across Europe to help homeless and internally displaced people.
The leaders of Depaul’s charities in the UK, Ireland, France, Slovakia and Ukraine gathered for a reception in Brussels at the invitation of MEP and Depaul International ambassador Dr Charles Tannock.
Depaul International Chief Operating Officer Ian Brady, Depaul UK CEO Martin Houghton-Brown, Depaul Ireland CEO Kerry Anthony MBE and Depaul Ukraine Chair of Trustees Father Vitaliy Novak CM gave presentations on European homelessness to MEPs.
Mr Brady highlighted that around four million people in European Union countries are currently “houseless or roofless”, according to a broad-brush estimate by the EU Commission, and the vital work that Depaul does to help these citizens.
Depaul UK CEO Martin Houghton-Brown told the parliamentarians of the 63,000 young people in the UK who have been supported by the charity since its inception in 1989.
Depaul Ireland CEO Kerry Anthony talked about the 20 specialist services run by Depaul in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including its first “wet” shelter – for those suffering from alcohol addiction – in Aungier Street, Dublin.
Depaul Ukraine Chair of Trustees Father Vitaliy Novak spoke of its work with internally displaced people and the shelter, outreach, hospital and legal services provided since 2007 by the charity, which now helps 8,500 people a year.
Directors also attended from Depaul Slovakia, which is the largest homelessness service provider in Bratislava helping more than 1,400 people a year; from Depaul France, which runs a mobile hygiene and health outreach service helping 300 people a year; and from the newly established Depaul Croatia.
Depaul International COO Ian Brady said: “I am proud to be part of the first gathering of the Depaul charities at the European Parliament. We thank Dr Tannock for inviting us to the Parliament to talk about our work with the homeless and internally displaced people of Europe. Amazing work is going on in all of Depaul’s charities and I am sure the Members have been very interested to hear about it.”