Europe

An Post launches free postal address service for homeless

Homeless man Image copyright Srdjanns74
Image caption The service provides an instant address, generated online using a mobile phone or laptop

The Republic of Ireland's postal service is offering a free personal address and mail collection service for homeless people.

An Post said 'Address Point' is the first of its kind in Europe.

The service provides an instant address, generated online using a mobile phone or laptop, for use on all correspondence.

Letters can then be collected by the customer on production of photo ID at their post office of choice.

Should a person move to a different area, a new address can be generated, linked to a different post office.

Positive impact

Charities, which will facilitate the homeless person or the individual in temporary accommodation to register for the service, have said it will have a positive impact on the lives of many of the country's 10,000 plus homeless people.

Primarily an urban service, Address Point has been developed by An Post along with homeless charities.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Post will be held for a maximum of 20 days and items must not exceed 100 grams in weight

Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail, said about 200 post offices around the country will participate in the scheme.

"We are keenly aware of the difficulties which can result from people not having a reliable, secure mailing address or letter collection point to access vital services we all take for granted and in looking for a job," said Ms Byrne.

Once registered, users need to present the correct photo identification at their chosen office and a postal worker will hand over any envelopes or jiffy bags addressed to them.

Mail will be held for a maximum of 20 days and items must not exceed 100 grams in weight.

Both the Dublin Simon charity and the Peter McVerry Trust welcomed the new service, saying it will "make a real difference to the lives of our record number of homeless neighbours".

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