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28 Jun 2022

SVP to transfer management of its Longford hostels to other homeless charities

SVP to transfer management of its Longford hostels to other homeless charities

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has announced that it is planning to transfer the management of its hostels including two in Longford to other homeless charities with specialist expertise in the sector.

The Society says that it believes that the move will benefit those who use the services of its hostels as managing homeless hostels is moving beyond the capacity of a volunteer-led organisation such as SVP

As most of the funding for the hostels comes from the state SVP is in discussion with the respective Local Authorities and the HSE to facilitate the transfer of its services.

There are 9 hostels involved which between them have almost 300 beds per night for homeless people. In addition to the two in Longford they are in, Carlow, Cork (2), Ennis, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford.

The Longford hostels are Bethany House which has 7 places for women and their children and St Martha’s which has 11 places for men.

SVP National Secretary Andy Heffernan says that as a volunteer-led organisation, the SVP structure is not suitable to fully adhere to statutory governance and management protocols in the sector and to the increased specialisation, which now exceed the capacity of SVP volunteers.

The transfer to new management at the hostels is scheduled to take place before the end of September 2021. “Our funders, staff, service users and their families where appropriate are being fully briefed with a view to organising smooth transfer of services.” said Mr Heffernan.

In tandem with these briefings SVP has been in discussions with fellow Vincentian organisation Depaul which has extensive experience in the sector.

Dunia Hutchinson SVP National Manager of Homeless Services said  “ We are very mindful of the potential impact of this decision on services and are committed to managing  the process collaboratively with all the stakeholders at local and national level, and with our service users and staff interests at heart.

“We are determined to ensure that the eventual outcome will be a positive one for our services which have demonstrated, this year especially, how impactful they can be in the sector and how important the work is to the community.”  

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