Its a Saturday Evening on a busy street here in Dublin City. Shoppers with the last of their weekly shopping make their way home a luxury some people don’t have. Bridges Of Hope is a non profit charitable organization which was set by Dublin man Columb Fogarty with the help of volunteers.
The aim behind this project is to help people who find themselves caught up in the Irish homeless crisis. Its Saturday 7th April 2018 and its just past 7.30pm earlier on in that day thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin City to march over the homeless crisis that modern Ireland has today.
Bridges Of Hope every Saturday Evening from 7:30pm to 9:30pm set up a free food and clothing stall on North Earl Street. This set up involves up to 12 Volunteers who on a weekly basic give up their time to help others caught up in the homeless crisis. Its a busy evening here on the stalls as up to 150 People come to the made up stalls to either have a cup of tea, coffee, soup, and or to have a bite to eat and if required maybe a new item of clothing.
Prime Bling (PB) Your favorite on line digital entertainment guide was invited to attend Bridges Of Hope weekly visit to North Earl Street, to have a chat with some of the people who use these services and have a chat with some of the volunteers. This is their story.
Christopher uses the services this is his story:
I have been homeless for the last 11 years and have been going from one hostel to another. My partner was with me but she got housed some years ago with our kids. Christopher uses the services provided by bridges of hope and thinks the services they provide is amazing. He likes coming down to them every Saturday not only for the delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, etc but he likes to chat to the team he feels he can connect with them on a one to one basic. Christopher has written some poetry in the past and hopes to get into a training program which covers art, creative writing,etc very soon. We at (PB) Wish Christopher The Very Best and we hope he will send in some poetry for us to publish in the near future.
At the age of 71 Paul found himself homeless after a argument with his wife in their family home. Paul spent 5 Months sleeping in various hostels dotted in and around the city. While Paul, Can’t fault the workers who work in these hostels he feels it for them as they are the ones who can get caught in the middle of it. Because like most emergency B+B’s, hostels, etc they don’t have a 24 hour open door policy when its time to leave them in the morning you have nothing but time on your hands to fill your day. Paul learned how to not only fill in his day but to survive on the streets. Because of his situation he learned to use it to his advantage by going to the gyms and following an exercise program he now follows with his exercise and is now at the grand old age of 71 doing weight training. He believes the Irish State has failed the children who are stuck in the homeless crisis and Paul points out its not the first time that the Irish State has failed the children of today. They should be doing more with these kids instead of putting them into the homeless crisis. Paul thinks the services provided by bridges of hope is very good and he looks at their services like they are street angels.
Elaine is a volunteer this is her story:
Elaine has been a volunteer since bridges of hope started up since around 2016. Elaine is in recovery from a drug addiction she is now in her 35th month of been clean. Elaine completed a day program in Coolmine and was once homeless herself. She managed to get her own place on the (HAP Scheme, after linking in with the Fr Peter McVerry Trust. At the moment Elaine is in college she is training to be a massage therapists. Elaine loves coming out every Saturday Evening to help out. She loves checking in with the people who use these services on a weekly basic making sure they are OK, safe, and have what they need.
This is Joey’s Story.
Joey is a volunteer and has been volunteering for the past 3 Months. He in his past had been an addict to drugs and alcohol and today he is clean and well into his recovery. While he was serving time in prison he became a red cross volunteer a position he kept after been released from prison. At moment Joey facilitates courses to ex-prisoners and he believes what he is doing at the moment helping out bridges of hope weekly stalls fills him with gratitude and every time he goes home after doing his shift on North Earl Street he does so with a big smile on his face knowing that he was part of a team that helped someone that evening.
The services provided by bridges of hope is free to anyone who is homeless and or face becoming homeless. They not only provide food but clothing and sleeping bags. They also give out food parcels and at times some little luxuries to everyone who shows up to take away with them. Last Saturday Evening over 150 People showed up to use their services. Bridges Of Hope is a non profit charitable organization and depend on donations of food, clothing, etc If you would like to donate to them you can phone them in Dublin City on 085-812-5434.
All Image Credits: Prime Bling.
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