Since May 2004 over several hundred thousands PPS numbers have been issued to people from the ten new member countries of the European Union (EU12). Most of these were issued to Polish nationals and to Latvian nationals. While most of these new workers have integrated well into the Irish economy, a number have fallen on hard times often in the form of homelessness and problem alcohol and drug use.
More recently homeless services have been reporting a significant and growing increase in the number of people from the EU12 countries accessing their services.
Dublin City Council has seen increased numbers of people from the new accession states presenting at local services seeking assistance. In particular they have seen large numbers of Polish nationals availing of homeless services.
Barka IE has been working in Dublin since January 2012. The mission of Barka IE is to provide an opportunity for reconnection, reintegration and social entrepreneurship to vulnerable Central and Eastern European migrants to Ireland.
We currently run two projects:
- Reconnection to home countries, and
- Labour Market Reconnection in Ireland.
Where appropriate (English language literacy, Habitual Residence Condition compliance etc) we assist migrants in obtaining documents, accessing detox and therapy in Ireland, provide them with training, and support them in securing legal employment and housing. If the person wishes to return to their family in their home countries in Central and Eastern Europe, we assist with obtaining travel documents and the total cost of transportation. For individuals who wish to return to Poland, but have no family to go back to, we offer the possibility of returning to one of the Barka communities, where their participants can access detox and therapy, learn new work skills and access employment. Since January 2012, we have assisted 80 people to return to their home countries and another 20 out of dependency on homeless services in Ireland through finding work here.