herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

'Less talk and more action' is needed to help the homeless

The Government should stop talking about homelessness and poverty and do something to end it, a champion of the poor has claimed.

Brother Kevin Crowley of Dublin's Capuchin Day Centre said too many surveys of the problem are being carried out without enough action to tackle the homelessness problem.

The centre provides free meals for hundreds of poor people each day.

"I've given up going to meeting where I've been listening to people talking about survey after survey - surveys costing thousands and nothing has happened," he said.

Speaking to Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE Radio One, Br Kevin said: "We still have people walking the streets, dying on the streets, overdosing on the streets. That should not be.

appalling

"I appeal to the Government to do something to stop it. Don't be talking about it. Get out and do something."

"A huge amount of money is being spent on homelessness. I ask how it's being delegated. What are organisations doing with all the money?".

Br Kevin said conditions for the poor are "absolutely appalling". He compared the terrible situation of mother and baby homes in Ireland 50 years ago with the homeless walking the streets today.

The Government must help the homeless to get them off the streets, he said.

He also praised the generosity of Irish people. The State gives €450,000 to the day centre in Church Street, which means donations have to make up the rest of the €2.3m annual running costs.

Br Kevin said he and Lord Mayor Christy Burke will be lobbying to help get homeless people off the streets. "They are overdosing because there is no place for them," he said.

Mothers with babies should not be walking the streets wondering where their next meal is coming from, he added.

The situation of the "new poor" - those who had good jobs and lost them - also saddens him, he said.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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