This Homelessness Awareness Week, our focus turns to the contributions of our colleagues working tirelessly within Depaul. Among these dedicated individuals is Cathy Murray, a case worker at Cloverhill, whose 15-year journey from a project worker to a case worker has been marked by relentless dedication and an unwavering commitment to the welfare of the families she serves.

Cathy’s role at Cloverhill is not just a job; it’s one of her passions. She shares, “I really do love it”. The different families and seeing the change we make. “It is a sentiment that resonates with her colleagues”. Together, they form a team that goes beyond the call of duty, driven by compassion and a shared goal of making a real difference in the lives of those they serve.

Central to Cathy’s experiences at Cloverhill are the lives of the children who live there. While the challenges of living in temporary accommodation are undeniable, it is clear how much work goes into making sure their experience in Cloverhill is full of moments of joy and celebration. Cathy fondly recounts the festive spirit that envelops Cloverhill during Christmas, transforming it into a place of warmth and joy.”Come the beginning of December, it will be a completely different building. It’ll be Christmas all over”, she says. The children, in particular, revel in the festivities – from the excitement of Santa’s visit to the fun of movie nights and decorating the tree. These moments, Cathy notes, are both heart-warming and vital, offering the children a chance to fully embrace the festive spirit. It’s in these moments that the importance of places like Cloverhill becomes the clearest. They highlight the resilience and hope that flourishes for those in temporary accommodation.

The current economic climate adds another layer of complexity to the already challenging situation at Cloverhill. Cathy speaks with concern about the impact of the rising cost of living crisis on the families. Her anecdotes of residents juggling the soaring expenses on strained budgets paint a vivid picture of the tough reality faced by many. It’s more than just numbers; it’s about real people struggling to make ends meet,” she says. Those who live at Cloverhill have dwindling opportunities to find permanent housing solutions as there are simply not enough houses to go around. It becomes harder for these families to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Considering this, the dedication of key workers like Cathy cannot be overstated. They represent the backbone of Cloverhill, offering much more than just support – they provide a ray of hope. The community within Cloverhill means that every effort is made to make the service a place of home for those living there. “You get great satisfaction from helping,” Cathy remarks, a sentiment that echoes the ethos of all those who work behind the scenes, often unnoticed but always essential.

The role of donors for our work at Depaul is critical. Your support is not just a financial contribution; it’s a lifeline that enables the continued operation of services like those at Cloverhill. Every donation, no matter its size, contributes to maintaining this haven of support and hope, ensuring that those who seek help can find not just shelter but a community that cares Cloverhill is about more than just providing shelter; it’s about creating a space where hope can thrive, even in the most challenging times. This Homeless Awareness Week, let us remember the significant impact we can all have in the lives of those grappling with homelessness. It’s a reminder of the power of collective action and compassion and the importance of extending our understanding to those who need it most.