Charity to provide transportation for homeless during papal visit

Peter McVerry Trust says it can take people to emergency accommodation amid traffic disruptions

Pat Doyle, chief executive of the Peter McVerry trust: Organisation has prepared response to the papal visit. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Pat Doyle, chief executive of the Peter McVerry trust: Organisation has prepared response to the papal visit. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

The Peter McVerry Trust will provide a number of vehicles to help homeless people get to their emergency accommodation during the visit of Pope Francis.

The charity said traffic disruptions and the huge volume of people travelling in and out of Dublin may make it difficult for people to reach emergency accommodation in hotels on the edge of the city.

“We have notified the DRHE /[Dublin Region Homeless Executive/] that should it be necessary our vehicles will be available via the Freephone service to transport people in homelessness to their emergency accommodation,” it said.

The charity said it is “confident” its homeless services will not be negatively impacted by the papal visit and that any families needing homeless services will be able to avail of the appropriate supports.

The trust has set aside “ring-fenced accommodation” for late night emergency presentations.

The DRHE said it has sourced a large number of additional rooms ahead of the visit along with extra staff rostered to work.

Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said: “We have been co-ordinating and preparing our response to the papal visit for the past few weeks, and we’ve approached the event in a similar manner to our response to major incidents such as Storm Emma or Storm Ophelia.

“As we finalised our plans we continue to engage multiple times per day with the DRHE around appropriate response to support needs.”

Mr Doyle said frontline staff have planned their journeys to and from work, taking into account any traffic restrictions and additional traffic volumes.

“We have also been working with our staff to ensure that we have pre-empted any impact on the 750 people and 74 families who are accessing our emergency homeless services across Dublin on a nightly basis,” he said.

“This would include people that may be attending rental viewings, clinics, training or presenting to employment, and we are supporting people with their plans for the days when traffic restrictions are in place.”

The charity’s housing first intake team, which works with rough sleepers, has been advised by civil authorities and gardaí it will have access to all areas necessary.