Over 40 years ago, Brother Kevin Crowley founded the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Bow Street, Dublin. From its very humble beginnings in the Friary garden it now provides over 700 meals each day and over 1500 food parcels each Wednesday to the homeless and poor of Dublin. You can contact the Capuchin Day Centre through their website www.capuchindaycentre.com
‘A welcome to those in need’
While the Capuchin Day Centre has journeyed with people in need since 1969 including the last recession of the 1980’s, nothing has prepared us for the level of demand for the service. Since the collapse of the Banks in 2008 our numbers have more than doubled. Latest figures show we provide 250 breakfasts each day with 400 extra on a Wednesday. Our dinner service has increased and is seldom less that 480 with a couple of days in the week exceeding 500. In keeping with our child protection policies, we have a designated family area where parents and their children can enjoy nutritious meals in safety. The increase in child poverty is very evident here in the Day Centre with more parents needing to avail of the service. We also have a medical service, chiropody clinics, an optical service and advice and information clinics. We prioritise the needs of rough sleepers and the increased energy and water charges for the shower facilities together with the provision of new underwear, personal hygiene products etc. has all added to our expenses.
Despite trying to cope with the above, the greatest challenge both physically and financially is to help the increased number of people who need Food Parcels. Demand has risen with each new phase of unemployment and rose from about 3/400 a week in 2008 to around 1,000 in 2011 with further spikes to the current level of 1800 people who need help to feed their families in the current recession.