Diocesan Refugee Housing Appeal
The United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough is supporting a programme which is providing ‘next step’ accommodation and assistance for people emerging from Ireland’s Direct Provision system. The Diocesan Refugee Housing Appeal will raise €300,000 over three years to support the Refugee Accommodation Programme being devised by the Irish Refugee Council (IRC).
The IRC is working with the Association of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland (AMRI) to acquire properties in Dublin and around the country that are being donated by various religious orders. These properties require renovation and that is where some of the money raised by the efforts of the people of Dublin & Glendalough will be used.
Once people have been granted leave to remain in Ireland, their first obstacle is to find a home to rent. The Refugee Accommodation Programme assists with this, thus taking pressure off existing State and charitable organisations dealing with homelessness. This project is not all about bricks and mortar. The IRC is adopting a holistic approach in its work with people coming out of Direct Provision.
People who have spent years in direct provision often become institutionalised. They may not know how to open a bank account or how to register for utilities such as gas and electricity. Others may need trauma counselling, English language courses and advice on job hunting. In short the project gives people a roof over their heads while they adjust to living in Irish society but also supports them and gives them the tools to become rounded and contributing members of Irish society.
The IRC is Ireland’s only national non governmental organisation specialising in working with refugees and people in the asylum process. At the moment 3,500 people, one third of whom are children, are housed and waiting in Direct Provision Centres nationwide.
Diocesan Councils, in response to calls to do something about the housing crisis made at Diocesan Synods in 2015, set up a working group to search for opportunities to help. Canon Horace McKinley, the Revd Olive Donohoe and Dr Sharee Basdeo carried out extensive research before selecting the IRC project which was approved by Councils.
As of late 2017, 40 people have moved into their new homes thanks to the support of people donating to the appeal. Eighteen children have a place to call home and three families have been united. People have also benefited from the assistance of the IRC in accessing education, employment, family budgeting, health, linking with support services, making social connections and language support.
There are currently over 400 people who have been granted status who need support to move on with their lives.
To contribute to the appeal monies can be forwarded by cheque to: the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough, Church House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6 (marked Housing Appeal). Donations can also be lodged directly to: DIOCESAN FUNDS OF DUBLIN AND GLENDALOUGH, Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin 2, BIC: BOFIIE2D, IBAN: IE50 BOFI 9000 1769 3548 78, Reference: Housing appeal. Donations may attract a tax rebate.
The Irish Refugee Council has produced a helpful graphic to show the impact of your support for the project. It can be downloaded as a PDF here.
Watch this video of the ‘A Place to Call Home’ concert in Christ Church Cathedral in which Nick Henderson of the IRC and Nabil Allam who has benefited from IRC support talk about the project: