HOUSING

An Post announces initiative to help Louth's homeless

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

An Post announces initiative to help Louth's homeless

An Post is set to roll out a new initiative to provide homeless people with a postal address so that they can avail of services such as applying for jobs and making medical appointments. 

The Irish postal service has said that it "knows how difficult it can be for individuals and families to arrange medical appointments, correspond with their children’s schools and making job applications if they don’t have permanent accommodation or a regular address."  

The company says they are now working with homeless charities and service providers such as Address Point before the launch in the next few weeks. 

An Post says people who have "no fixed abode" will be able to avail of the service through a post office of their choosing. 

Welcoming the news for homeless people across Louth local election candidate Eugene Garvey said: "I have worked with the homeless and know some of the difficulties that they face. If you don’t have an address, you have nothing.

The Sinn Fein hopeful explained: "Things that we take for granted like registering for a doctor, seeking medical advice, accessing social welfare, opening or operating a bank account or applying for a job, almost anything we do day to day, is almost impossible for someone who is homeless. Think about it, the first thing you are asked for is your address so they can correspond with you.

“That is why this service by An Post is going to be a lifeline to those who find themselves homeless. The idea is to provide an Address Point which will allow homeless persons to have an address which will be their chosen Post Office. This service will be a major game changer for people and will give some structure to what is usually a very chaotic way of life.

Mr Garvey who has been very vocal on the issue added: “In January 2016 there were 54 homeless people in Louth, three years later there were 156 and that figure is growing because of the failed policies of the government. That is an increase of 189% which is staggering.

"There is so much that needs to be done to address the homeless issue and it will take time but at least this An Post service can start immediately it is rolled out which is expected to be in the coming weeks."