Its time again to wish you a Happy New Year. In thanking you for your support in so many ways, I would like to bring you up to date on our past years activities.
- We continue to meet 30 plus men and women each morning, the majority sleeping out. Recently five men met first in the seventies called homeless again. 300 350 outfits of clothing are given out free monthly as part of a holistic health service all donated apart from underwear/socks, which we purchase. Going on current second hand shop prices this would amount to over £200,000 per annum.
- Washing facilities are available. We have a chiropody session once a month and have the services of an Optician, Dentist and local GPs available to us. Psychiatric Outreach Worker and Community Welfare Officers call weekly. Many people known to us died during the year, some in appalling circumstances.
- We have been able to improve facilities for people using our services – we now have a little more space and central heating.
- Our work would not be possible without the goodwill of many in Statutory and Voluntary Agencies, the business community, Rotary Groups, Church Groups and ordinary members of the public countrywide. This year staff in the Corporate Section in E.S.B. have been added to the many who keep us supplied with clothes.
- Our local St. Patricks Cathedral and Liberties Festival Group have ensured through their ongoing support that we are part of the local community.
- I continue to chair Sentence Review Group.
- The Homeless Initiative on which we were represented has been replaced by the Homeless Services Agency.
- In September the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, John ODonoghue T.D. launched the TRUST Transition Year Project, a national education initiative aimed at getting students to think about exclusion and how those whom society regards as outsiders can be made to feel part of the community.
This initiative was created because of the huge response from students and teachers to the documentary A FRAGILE CITY which was broadcast on RTE 1 television in Sept. 1999 about Trusts work and the people it works with which was made by the award winning Esperanza Productions.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and The Irish Times, with the support of the Rotary Club, Dublin, the TRUST Transition Year Project features a special web site (www.trust-ireland.ie), an essay competition and the distribution of the video A FRAGILE CITY with a specially compiled education pack to all second level schools for use in the Transition Year Programme.
The poet Micheal OSiadhail, a long time friend of TRUST, is Chairman of the Board of Adjudicators for the essay competition, which is open to entries in Irish and English. Latest date for receipt of entries is end-February 2001.
See our website www.trust-ireland.ie for more information.
- We have made submissions to relevant Government Agencies where appropriate.
- We have continued our Education Role meeting specialist groups.
- However the hands on work is the most important aspect of TRUSTS work.
- There has been more publicity than ever before about homelessness, more funding has been made available for housing and more people have been employed to work in the field. However, we continue to see homelessness as a very complex problem that cannot be solved by housing alone. To suggest this can be isolating but our daily work does not convince us otherwise.
- We acknowledge the contribution made by those in the media and encourage them to look behind statistics at the humanity of people who find themselves homeless.
- At a time when there are diverse views on homelessness and continuity of contact is upset by a shifting workforce our biggest challenge is to retain the personal touch by delivering our service through familiar faces. To do this well we believe we must resist the temptation to expand.
- We are satisfied that TRUST helps to make life easier for some of the most isolated people in our city and beyond. Everyone in TRUST would like to thank you for making our work possible.
Alice Leahy – Director