Press Release 20.10.2017 | Depaulcharity

Depaul helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Press Release 20.10.2017

October 20th, 2017

Harm Reduction Services in the West showcase positive results of partnership approach in helping substance abusers

Homelessness charity Depaul hosts showcase event for Harm Reduction Service

Friday, 20th October 2017. Today, Depaul hosted a showcase event held in City Hotel Derry to show the positive work and achievements of the Harm Reduction Service which provides health related interventions, advice and support to those who misuse alcohol and drugs but are unable to commit to formal treatment. In lead partnership with First Housing and ARC/Solace, Depaul commenced the Provision of Support, Care, Facilitation and Harm Reduction Services in 2013 through a three year grant from the Public Health Agency. The grant was given to enable the partnership provide a low threshold service for those who are struggling with addiction and misusing substances within the Western Trust Area.

The partnership provides services in Derry City, Limavady, Strabane, Omagh and Enniskillen as well as the surrounding rural areas. Over the past 12 months, the Harm Reduction Service has provided:

  • Support to 292 service users
  • Support for 59 service users to access benefits
  • 125 service users with support to access Primary Care
  • 71 families/carers with information about alcohol/substance misuse and referred to agencies for family services
  • 43 service users with referrals to specialist accommodation/appropriate housing or hostels
  • 28 service users with access to mental health services
  • 67 service users with access to structured substance misuse treatment services
  • 8 service users with access to physical disability services
  • 8 service users with advice and support on seeking/gaining employment

The event was attended by local politicians, Government officials and industry experts. The grant will be in need of renewal in January 2018 when the partnership will be reapplying to PHA so that they can continue to provide this much needed service in the area.

Speaking at the event, Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony MBE said;

“This programme has made significant strides in helping those on the outskirts of society and left out of other services to access the support that they badly need. For many people struggling with substance misuse, of drugs and alcohol, there is a significant chance that they are struggling in homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. The Harm Reduction Service fills a gap that sorely needed filling in the area.

The results are in the figures, this partnership between Depaul, First Housing and ARC/Solace is helping hundreds of people to gain access to services, reduce the harm to their physical and mental health and regain control over their lives and wellbeing. It is vital that this impactful service continues.”


For further reference or requests for interview, please contact:

Sinéad Healy, Depaul Media Communications Officer
t. +35314537111 | m. +35386 3832198

Notes to Editor

  • The Harm Reduction Services provided by the partnership include: one-one professional key working support, health related support through education programmes and health related interventions, harm reduction methodologies, case management support planning, safety & wellbeing assessment and management, partnership working with other community, voluntary and statutory agencies, support to each service user in returning to the community and out of homelessness and support in maintaining tenancies and managing independent living.
  • Depaul is a charity working in homelessness and homelessness prevention in ROI and NI, providing services in emergency hostels, supported temporary accommodation, family services, floating support, community outreach, detox and rehabilitation, transitionary, specialised services for young people and low threshold hostels and services for entrenched drug and alcohol addicts and street drinkers. Depaul has more than 25 services in Ireland.
  • First Housing Aid & Support Services is a charitable organisation offering advice, support and accommodation to people that are homeless and in acute housing need across Northern Ireland. Established in 1989 in response to rising levels of homelessness and housing disadvantage amongst young single people in Derry. Since then they have developed a wide range of innovative projects and services to assist people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • ARC Healthy Living Centre is located in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh and Solace is part of the ARC Healthy Living Centre. ARC provide Supportive Opportunities for Living with Addiction in a Community Environment – It provides befriending/advocacy support service aiming to reduce harm, caused by chronic addiction, to individuals, families, and communities.


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