COPE welcomes new postal service for the homeless

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COPE Galway has welcomed An Post’s new Address Point initiative to provide a groundbreaking postal service for homeless people.

Address Point created a free personal postal address and letter collection service for people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation based on their local post office.

Having reliable access to the postal service can be essential for many important parts of life like organising medical appointments, dealing with children’s schools, applying for jobs, or trying to keep in touch with family and friends.

The service creates a personal address for an individual online using a mobile phone or laptop, and individuals can then collect letters and other deliveries at their post office of choice using photo ID.

Martin O’Connor, Assistant CEO of COPE, said “This is a welcome innovation in addressing one of less obvious but very real complications in the lives of people who are homeless, moving between emergency accommodation and sleeping rough.

“We hope that it will help ensure that people are better connected to the essential housing, welfare, education and health services which are vital in their lives and those of their families”

Speaking at the GPO, Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail explained that An Post set out to find a solution that respected people’s privacy, and helped to make their lives a little easier.

She said that An Post is “keenly aware” of the difficulties that can arise out of not having a reliable secure mailing address.

An Post is providing local charities, service providers, and councils with information leaflets about Address Point to help them advise the people they work with on accessing this service.

“The input and support of both service users, service providers, An Post staff and postmasters was invaluable in bringing Address Point from a good idea to an easily accessible service based around a choice of almost 200 local post offices country-wide.”