An Post is to offer people who are homeless a free address which they can use to receive letters, apply for jobs and arrange appointments.
The service, called Address Point, will be available to people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation, and is generated based on the person's choice of local post office which will serve as their mail collection point.
It allows for an “instant” address to be generated online using a mobile phone or laptop. This address can then be used on all correspondence, and should a person move to a new locality, a new address can be immediately generated, linked to a post office in the new location.
An Post says it is “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”.
In order to develop the service, which it says is Europe's first free personal mail service for homeless people, it consulted with service providers and charities working in the area of homelessness.
An Post is now providing charities, service providers and local authorities with information leaflets about Address Point to assist them in advising their clients about accessing the service, which will be available in almost 200 local post offices country-wide.
Homeless charities have welcomed the initiative, saying it is a practical service that will make a real difference to many of the country's 10,000-plus homeless individuals.