It’s Saturday 14th April 2018 at a little past 7:30pm. The street we are standing on is called North Earl Street here in Dublin City. We are here on invite to do our second story on the good work done by volunteers who volunteer with a non profit organization known as Bridges Of Hope (B.O.H).
Its exactly one week to the day that a big march took place in Dublin City over the homeless crisis we have in modern Ireland today. (B.O.H, as you may recall help feed the homeless, they also give out clothing, sleeping bags, and at times some food items to the homeless so they can take it away and eat at a later stage either when they sleep on our streets or if lucky in their hostel type emergency accommodation.
(B.O.H, have only just set up their stalls when a crowd of about 50 to 75 homeless people suddenly appear from nowhere to use their services. Its almost frighting to watch not from fear but from within as we at times can forget how lucky we have it when we have our own home.
Last week when we where there with (B.O.H, they helped around 150 homeless people this week this figured nearly doubled peaking in between 200 to 250 and one could see why. Tonight’s sudden rise in homeless people seeking help could be seen by anyone who actually looked. There was at least three children in their prams been pushed by their parents who themselves where seeking to get help. To see these little children in their prams really saddened me what chances will they have in life if today they are stuck in the homeless crisis through no fault of their own. Will they ever get out of the homeless crisis?.
Prime Bling (PB) Your favorite on line digital entertainment guide spoke to some of the volunteers and some homeless people who use these free services this is their stories.
Volunteer George Iver’s:
George first became a volunteer some months back after been invited in to lend a hand. George went on to tell us that it’s a great achievement for him to help others he himself was an addict and he is currently in recovery around the 7 to 8 year mark. He is experiencing homeless himself at this present time a term he is using is sofa surfing, means he is sleeping on friends sofas, etc a term which is also known as hidden homeless. George is on the (DCC) Dublin City Council waiting list years now. He was in accommodation he had a small flat in a area called Mariono, here in Dublin on the RAS scheme. The flat where he was living was unsuitable for his needs as it was on the bottom floor it did flood at least 12 times in the four years that he was living there. Unable to maintain this property due to the flooding and other issues George asked could he change his address and move somewhere else this was refused and sadly George slipped through the cracks and became homeless again. George would like to tell the Irish Government and or Leo Varadkar ( Irish Leader) To get real. George also stated that Ireland is so corrupted that they have all become arrogant in their ways.
Martina Whelan is a volunteer:
Martina became a volunteer in January of this year. The very first night she came out she gave Columb Fogarty and all the team great respect for doing what they were doing freely on a weekly basic. Martina herself experienced addiction in her family with some of her relatives. Martina sources and cooks food every week to bring the food in for the homeless. She even buys the ingredients from her own money so she can bring it in. As well as making stews, coddles, etc She buys bread, to make sandwiches, meat to put on them, and collects items of clothing of friends and family members to give out.
Martina wanted to say this to Leo Varadkar may god forgive him for sitting at home in his lovely warm house nice and warm while we have a homeless crisis going on. Leo should be ashamed of himself and the Irish Government are 150% at fault over the homeless crisis that we have in Ireland today.
Tara is a volunteer:
Tara loves giving back to the people who are worse of than she is and gets a great achievement from doing it. Tara in 2003 suddenly found herself homeless and living on the streets for 2.5 Months after falling out with her family. She used to sleep around the back of Cleary’s Shop that used to be trading on nearby O’Connell Street here in Dublin. At the time of her homeless Tara turned to alcohol to numb away her situation, Thankfully Tara has stopped her drinking and is living back at her family home. Tara would like to say to Leo Varadkar get your finger out of your a** and do something about the homeless crisis.
Tom Kelly is a service user:
Tom thinks the services provided by (B.O.H, is brilliant not only for the service they provide but the friendship they offer too. Tom feels he can connect with them on a one to one basic or with more than one volunteer. He also went on to say sometimes when a person is ripped apart inside that these volunteers can help by offering them or him advice on the situation. Tom went on to say that he used to be a very sociable person but in recent times he got caught in a gambling addiction in which saw him lose his job, his family, etc Tom has now got his addiction under control and is living in emergency accommodation here in Dublin. Tom fills his day’s by walking around the city he loves walking and rather than stay in the city he has often walked out to the fishing village of Howth so he can connect with nature. Tom is originally from Wexford, here in Ireland and he prefers nature rather than buildings. Sometimes he will walk up to the war Memorial park just behind Island Bridge Flat Complex sit down and watch nature he finds this very relaxing and he likes to sit there and watch all the fountains fill with water.
Tom would like to say to Leo, Come down to (B.O.H, and other soup kitchens dotted in and around the city of Dublin on a weekly services and see just how many homeless people there is using these services. Wouldn’t it be great to even see at least one TD come out and serve the homeless people from behind the counter. Its a shame that we are in 2018 and there is a problem with homeless. It’s just as well (B.O.H, is out here on the streets providing these free weekly services as Tom feels he would be lost without them.
Dorel is homeless.
Dorel is a foreign national and is from Romanian. He arrived here in Dublin about 1 Year ago with his son. He came from UK after working over there for at least 15 Years. He decided to leave the UK after the Brexit despite having no where to live he came and stayed in Dublin and is now homeless. He thinks Ireland is very beautiful and the services that (B.O.H, offer are very good. He went on to say all the food that they bring in every week is good and very fresh unlike some of the charities out there who give out bad, and or stale food. He reckons that old people who come to Ireland and have no job fear out the worse when it comes to been able to support themselves find themselves homeless.
Dorel himself had no negativity about the Irish Government and or the state. Despite him been homeless he was able to get help in getting the dole. I asked him how he managed to get the dole giving he had no address, He replied that he brought with him from the UK his Social Security number that he contributed to when he worked over there, and as Romanian is now in the European Union this gave him a status. By providing his documents he had no problems getting his dole here in Ireland.
Bridges Of Hope is a non profit charity organization which receives no help by any government agents or agencies, they provide hot food, item of clothing, sleeping bags, food parcels, friendship, and much more to the homeless people caught up in the modern Ireland homeless crisis of today. They without fail set up every Saturday Evening on North Earl Street, Dublin, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm and give not only their time but their own food, money, etc to keep these services going so the homeless won’t have to go without. If you would like to become a volunteer or you would like to donate food, clothing, etc to this great cause please contact them in Dublin on 085-812-5434 thank you.
All of the volunteers who volunteer every week collect food, clothing, etc from family, friends, and neighbors, so they can give out to the homeless. Just like Martina they use their own money to buy food so the homeless won’t go hungry and or without. Not only do they buy the food etc but they actually cook it in their homes and its not unusual for the volunteers to be at home cooking most Saturday’s during the day for the homeless. Why don’t you help them help the homeless phone them in Dublin City on their mobile 085-812-5434 thank you.
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