The Depaul Group began in 1989, in the UK, instigated by the late Cardinal Basil Hume (1923-1999) in response to the growing number of homeless people on the streets of London.
Cardinal Hume brought together as founders the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and The Passage day centre in London’s Victoria district--all of which have their roots in the life and work of Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660).
Depaul quickly grew into a national charity in the UK and, in 2002, began expanding internationally, starting in Ireland.
Two years later, Depaul International, then known as The Depaul Foundation, was formed to be parent organisation to the burgeoning global group--with the aim of tackling homelessness at a worldwide level.
Depaul Slovensko, in Slovakia, was registered in 2006, Depaul Kharkiv, in Ukraine, was born the following year, and Depaul USA in 2008.
The most recent addition to the Group is Depaul France which arrived in 2013.
Each member of the Depaul Group, and Depaul International, owes its inspiration and its Values to Vincent de Paul, a major social reformer in 17th Century France.
Vincent de Paul reached out to the poor and the disenfranchised, valuing each and every person.
He attracted a large group of supporters and volunteers, whom he inspired with his love for the poor, building bridges between rich people and those living in poverty.
Vincent de Paul devoted his life to helping the poor, sick and needy and was canonised in 1737. He is often referred to as “the Saint of Charity.”
Vincentian Values are key to the foundation and work of the Depaul Group and all its national charities.
These values include a commitment to help the poorest of the poor--and to place actions ahead of words.