Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 ONE75
Irish Defence Forces’ charity places permanent accommodation and mental health at heart of new strategic plan
Launching its 2022-2026 agenda on Saturday afternoon, ONE Chief Executive said ex-defence forces members are facing a homeless crisis, should action not be taken
ONE today launched its nine-part Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 ONE75. The blueprint, unveiled at ONE’s Annual Convention at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines, Dublin, this afternoon, outlines the charity’s action plan in helping mitigate homelessness for veterans of the Defence Forces and tackling mental health issues. Speaking at the launch, the charity’s CEO, Cormac Kirwan, said the organisation is focused on securing sustainable government funding over the coming years, with the ultimate goal of supporting homeless veterans across the country, and helping ex-personnel access much-needed permanent accommodation, improve their mental health and prevent future homelessness.
To date, ONE has helped over 1,000 veterans build their lives post-service. The charity currently provides accommodation and meals for 51 veterans, who would otherwise be homeless, in its four residential homes. It is currently developing a further residential facility in Cork City to bring its homeless accommodation to 57 bedrooms. ONE operates four homes in Dublin, Athlone, Letterkenny and Cobh, and has a network of 15 Veteran Support Centres and 38 Branches, however, with inflation, the cost of running these facilities is increasing all the time. The charity has an annual operating budget of approximately €1.1 million for services, as well as additional capital spending based on the projects being undertaken. While the organisation is grateful for the state funding it receives, there is a significant deficit that must be raised by the charity to support its vital services in helping house those who have served the country. This is achieved through fundraisers, membership subscriptions and donations.
The ONE Strategic Plan 2022-2026 focuses on the organisation’s primary goals for the coming years – Governance; Support and Awareness; Financial Stability; Veteran Homes; Veteran Support Centres and Branches; Veteran Mental Health Support; Diversity & Inclusion; The I Am A Veteran Network; and Government Veteran Policy.
The previous plan – Building for the Future – came to an end in early 2022, and the Board of Directors tasked the Strategy and Risk Committee with producing a new strategy which would be carried up until the charity’s 75th anniversary in 2026. The plan will be reviewed annually, and any proposed changes will be presented at the Annual Convention.
ONE was formed on March 10th, 1951, in Dublin’s Mansion House, to address the enduring consequences of the major demobilisation after the Emergency Period. It has evolved into a charity that seeks to address the needs of veterans in the 21st century. In 2022, the enduring effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasingly unstable security situation exemplified by the war in Ukraine, rapid inflation, and the continuing housing crisis, were major factors impacting veterans. ONE has sought, and will continue to seek, to support veterans during and beyond this period.
The Strategic Plan 2022-2026 seeks to ensure that ONE is relevant, useable and adaptable in supporting veterans of the Irish Defence Forces.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive of ONE, Cormac Kirwan, said the charity has a significantly pro-active agenda for the coming years:
“Our Strategic Plan 2022-2026 outlines our core plans for the coming years, to take us up to the charity’s 75th anniversary. Assisting veterans who face homelessness and addressing mental health issues following years of serving the country are two issues we are prioritising to help those in need. At the end of the day, ONE is all about supporting our veterans who volunteered to join the Defence Forces. To put it bluntly, nobody volunteered to one day become homeless after working for years. The words “service” and “veterans” are often used together. The duration, the type of service and the rank achieved are not important; rather it is that veterans served their country at home and overseas in the cause of peace. Some of them now need your help. Please help ONE to help our veterans.”