At the beginning of the 19th century, Dublin city centre was home to many homeless, destitute Irish families, men, women and children. Troubled by their poverty, a group of Protestant businessmen set up a charity similar to, yet more humane than the workhouses of the time. We taught men and women a trade, gave them employment and paid their wages.
Mendicity was a social enterprise ahead of its time. We taught men and women a trade, gave them employment and paid their wages. And we continue our tradition and mission today.
Why the Mendicity Workshop Programme?
Over the years, through our activities and projects, we have identified a core group of long-term homeless EU/EEA migrants who:
- Have resisted reconnection or return to home country;
- Are long-term homeless in Ireland, and as such, are frequently in the situation of rough sleeping or using the Freephone;
- Have no income and very few or no employment prospects;
- Struggle with various addictions or addiction related side-effects;
- Are trained/ skilled workers who, due to low English level and/or other causes, cannot secure and retain employment.
The Mendicity Workshop Programme was created as an innovative solution for this problem.
What do we want to achieve?
- To provide a way out of homelessness for EU/EEA migrants who have been long term homeless in Ireland, and who have no entitlements to social welfare.
- To provide a comprehensive and easily individualised strategy of enabling service users to access the workforce.
How do we achieve it?
Specifically, the Workshop provides:
- Legal employment, through work sessions twice per week
- Support for Detox/rehab treatment (sobriety is an absolute must)
- Referrals for priority emergency accommodation/housing
- Assistance with up-skilling courses such as Manual Handling, Safe Pass, etc.
- Personalised assistance with all aspects of overcoming marginalisation:
- Procuring documents – passport and/or national cards – as a result of having developed excellent relationships with various embassies.
- Revenue Office registrations.
- Opening bank account.
- Various applications: medical cards, social housing, etc.
- Searching for private rented accommodation.
- Facilitation of (re)integration, through linking the Workshop participants with our Employment and TELL programmes which lead to accessing opportunities for full-time work through personalised job seeking care and connection with local community.
- Collaboration with local employment centres.
What we make
- The Duffily bag, designed by Emily Duffy, a BT Young Scientist award winner from Limerick. The bag is designed to address the needs of homeless rough sleepers. We have also donated 80 of these bags to the refugee camp in Calais and Dunkerque.
- The colourful coasters and mats, made out of hand dyed sisal rope and cork
- The Card range
- The flower boxes
- The scented soaps
- The scented candles range
The Workshop Programme changed Robertas’ life. He says: “I came to Ireland in 2004 to work. I became homeless, begging on the street and drinking every day. For 7 years. Mendicity Workshop gave me the chance to work again. I finished detox and started making sleeping bags, cards and decorations. Now, I have a bank account, medical card, a community that supports me. And a home. My home.”
Robertas’ story is just one of the lives we see transformed through our projects. If you are interested in supporting us, here are a few simple ways you can help:
- Our team is small, and we are always glad to work with volunteers. So if you would like to get involved and volunteer, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help us promote Mendicity by liking our Facebook page and by voting for us in the ‘Better Together Video Competition’ here.
- And, most importantly by telling other people about us. Telling them the story of the Mendicity Institution Workshop.
The Referral form for the Mendicity Workshop Programme can be downloaded here. Copies can be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent by post to
9 Island Street
FAO: Simone Sav
For any queries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 01 677 3308.