Housing scarcity and expensive rents have forced Dublin’s Capuchin’s Day Centre to provide “day-to-day” essentials for children and babies.
Speaking in the centre on Monday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland, its founder Bro. Kevin Crowley OFM Cap. said the welfare of families is a priority, but that the provision of such services has become more taxing following the spike in housing costs.
“Since the housing crisis of 2013, we had to upgrade the service by providing day-to-day essentials for children and babies. Housing scarcity and high rents means that people are living in hotels and B&Bs totally unsuited to family needs,” he said.
“The increase in child poverty is very evident here in the centre. Our figures rose from 4389 in 2011 to 11,300 in 2018 – a staggering increase of 6911 or 157.5%. Each day we meet the tragic human casualties of failed government policies.”
The centre on Bow Street serves 250 to 300 people with breakfast daily, provides showers and fresh clothing for rough sleepers, and makes hundreds of food parcels weekly.
“While the main purpose of the centre is food maintenance, we have constantly endeavoured to improve our response and help people who have difficulty in accessing mainstream services,” Bro. Kevin said.