Depaul Slovensko aims to address the needs of homeless people sleeping rough around Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, where 19 people died from hypothermia during the winter of 2005/06 when temperatures fell to well below freezing each night.
NGO's in the country estimate that there are between 2,000 and 3,000 homeless people in the capital, and across Slovakia as a whole at least 10,000 people with no roof over their head. The homeless population have many acute medical conditions, the most prevalent of which is TB.
Depaul Slovensko became a registered Slovakian charity in May 2006 and over the winter 2006/07 we ran an emergency cold weather shelter for 120+ homeless people each night. Our success in preventing homeless people dying from hypothermia on the streets of Bratislava led to the city authorities asking us to continue the shelter throughout the year, offering day centre facilities for the more elderly and vulnerable of its residents, and advice services to all. Depaul Slovensko is now in its sixth year of operation providing services on two sites for 230+ people who would otherwise be sleeping rough.
Depaul Slovensko aims to become sustainable in the long term by building its governance, administrative and fundraising base in-country. It already has a Board of Trustees drawn chiefly from Slovakian citizens, and their chair represents Depaul Slovensko at regular meetings of the Board of Depaul International. Depaul Slovensko is able to access staff exchanges and mentoring arrangements across the Depaul Group in order to ensure highly trained and motivated staff and volunteer teams, and has its own recruitment and training programmes for both staff and volunteers.