At the request of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Crosscare staff in Dublin have begun working on a draft programme of support for refugees. Crosscare is the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin. Crosscare also plan to work directly with Dublin priests and parishes in co-ordinating appropriate support at local level.
Speaking after praying the Angelus in the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis called on “every religious community” to take in one migrant family in a gesture of solidarity. In an interview last Thursday, Archbishop Martin said planning for the reception of refugees should begin immediately in what he called “the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War”.
Over the weekend Crosscare staff, with expertise in housing and in working with refugees, were working on how they can be ready to respond quickly when government agencies confirm the numbers that Ireland can expect to receive. Crosscare Director Conor Hickey said that following Archbishop Martin’s appeal last Thursday for an immediate response, they started work on a plan which could see Crosscare staff, including housing experts and interpreters, assigned specifically to helping with the intake of refugees. He said they hoped to work closely with State agencies as soon as Government confirmed their plans.
Crosscare also has the largest foodbank network in Dublin and while demand for food from Dublin families in need is still very high, it is another existing structure through which parishioners may be able to offer a helping hand.
Last Christmas, Crosscare staff worked around the clock to ensure an empty building made available by Archbishop Martin was brought up to standard to get homeless people off the streets in time for Christmas. St. Mary’s Hostel was refurbished and opened in less than two weeks following generous support from members of the public.
Crosscare is one the leading providers of support and accommodation to homeless people in Dublin. It also works directly with refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Dublin through the Crosscare Migrant Project.