Depaul International, (previously Depaul Foundation) was formed in 2004 following the expansion and success of Depaul UK (previously Depaul Trust), an organisation founded in 1989 to respond to the growing number of young people sleeping rough on the streets of London.
Depaul UK was formed in 1989, on the initiative of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, who brought together the Daughters of Charity, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Passage in Victoria to set up a new charity to respond to the needs of the growing numbers of vulnerable young people sleeping rough on the streets of London. In 1998 Depaul UK began working on a national level and in 2002, Depaul Ireland opened in Dublin as a result of an invitation from the Irish government. From those founding roots, Depaul International was formed in 2004 with the aim of tacking homelessness on a global level, with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe. Depaul International acts as the parent company for all of the Depaul subsidiaries and holds responsibility for the overall management and control of the group, as well as working to expand the Depaul group into new countries. Depaul International now has subsidiary groups working with homeless and disadvantaged people in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Ukraine and the USA, with France in development.
Depaul Slovensko opened in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2006 providing a nightshelter and infirmary for rough sleepers. Depaul Ukraine opened in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 2007 providing a street outreach service and medical support for young people sleeping rough in the city. Both these subsidiaries have developed their services since, with Depaul Ukraine now working in Odessa too. Depaul International has been committed to raising the money required to support Depaul Slovensko and Depaul Ukraine for the first five years of their operations. We are also helping to develop these charities through mentoring arrangements with our senior managers in the UK and Ireland. The aim is that after five years Depaul Slovensko and Depaul Ukraine should be fully independent members of the group structure with their own development and fundraising capacity.
In 2009 Depaul USA opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania providing a hostel for homeless men, and since then has opened other services in Macon, Georgia and New Orleans. In 2012 Depaul France will be set up, with its first project, a day centre for homeless people, to be opened in the centre of Paris.
Depaul International plans to expand its services on a global level into those countries where support for homeless and disadvantaged people is most needed.