herald

Thursday 25 May 2017

Surge in demand for baby food as number of homeless increases

Brother Kevin Crowley outside The Capuchin Day Centre
Brother Kevin Crowley outside The Capuchin Day Centre

A charity is appealing for baby food and nappies as the number of homeless families continues to rise.

Dublin's Capuchin Day Centre, which is run by Brother Kevin Crowley and gives food and supply packs to people without homes, said a growing number of parents now look for nappies, baby food and baby clothes.

"It's something that has raised its head in the past year," centre co-ordinator Alan Bailey told the Herald. "A lot of families are now staying in hotels.

"Monday is our official distribution date and we hand out baby food and nappies to about 90 families.

"It's a savage indictment in this day and age to think that there are people queuing for nappies.

"It really is a frightening thought."

The charity provides 800 hot meals a day at its centre in Bow Street. It also hands out between 3,000 and 3,500 hampers, an increase of 2,800 on last year's figure.

The charity said there is now a record number of 6,709 homeless people across the country.

Emergency

In Dublin, the number of homeless families has climbed to more than 1,000 for the first time.

The number of children living in emergency or temporary accommodation has risen to more than 2,000.

Anyone wishing to donate baby food and nappies can do so at the Capuchin Day Centre, 29 Bow Street, Dublin 7.

Meanwhile, another charity, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), has been collecting shoeboxes filled with goods for homeless people as part of its Fill A Tram initiative.

The charity has already collected 3,295 shoeboxes and the tram will be at Connolly Station until 7pm this evening.

The number of homeless people sleeping rough in Dublin has reached more than 140 on a single night.

Homeless campaigners have also voiced serious concerns over the increase in homeless women, some of them pregnant, sleeping rough on Dublin's streets in recent months.

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke, who works with ICHH, said the number of women sleeping rough on the streets, often under wet blankets, has increased significantly.

"Our group has noticed a jump in young women who are forced to sleep on the streets," he said.

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