It’s Saturday 16th November 2019 and its just a little past 7.15pm. Its a very cold evening and once again volunteers from the homeless outreach ” Bridges of Hope, are already working hard setting up their food and clothing stalls on North Earl Street here in Dublin. There is a fair few volunteers out tonight including all of our regular volunteers from ” Bridges of Hope, and from another outreach known as OCRAS EIRE, Finglas outreach who branch from North Side of Dublin, who every evening look after homeless people in the Dublin 9 and 11 areas and homeless people in the city center, also joining us tonight is another volunteer from ” Salvage Station Furniture Bank Station. Most of the volunteers are all wrapped up in their winter wears this would be our third winter outreaching on these streets in Dublin and we all know how cold it can get. Its just a little past 7.25pm and despite not opening up till 7.30pm there is already a big Que of homeless people waiting on hot food. The volunteers in charge of the food tables include Sinead, Siobhan, Shelley, to name just a few are very busy preparing the food, and getting the equipment ready to serve the food in. The food stall opens at 7.30pm and within 35 Minutes all the hot food is gone. We went through two big pots of Stews, 3 large Pasta and Bake dishes, Fried Sausages, etc, we now only had cold food items left. Bridges of Hope, would like to say a big thank you to Glenda Guilfoyle, for dropping off a load of cold food items including a large selection of cakes, pastries, soft drinks, etc, we would also like to thank M&S, Liffey Valley, and Neighborly.com.
To be up and running for less than 35 Minutes last night and to run out of hot food is not an ideal situation to be in but in recent times we have seen an increase of service users presenting themselves to our outreach stalls seeking help and sadly this is not the first time that we have been in this predicament having to tell service users there was no more hot food left. You could actually see the hurt and sadness in some of the service users but what could we do?. We still had a good supply of cold food items like bread, cakes, sandwiches, some snack items so this kept us going for another 30 minutes that too ran out before we closed the food stall. Two of our regular volunteers Aoife & Jackie, arrived a little late and both of them brought more hot food in, this food didn’t stay on the table very long before that too was all gone. Orla, one of the volunteers on the tea, & coffee stall is also very busy we have a 10 Liter flask on that table and it was filled at least 5 times last night to accommodate the demand for tea, coffee, and drinking chocolate. At last nights outreach stall we seen more children turn up with their parents to use the services some of the kids where able to move around but in two cases we seen that they where still in buggies. Tara, Ingrid, & Mary, who manage the clothing stall with other volunteers where also very busy the demand for warm winter practical items of clothing is also on the increase. We where very lucky last night to have some sleeping bags thanks to OCRAS EIRE, Finglas homeless outreach who sourced some and brought them in to us. Many a homeless people left the clothing stall with warmer items of clothing and they also left with a good supply of toiletries. We had to shut down the outreach stall early last night due to having no food items left.
Can you help Bridges of Hope?
Would you be able to donate and cook a dish for us?
We are appealing for hot food items it doesn’t have to be a top restaurant dish but dishes like a Dublin Coddle, Stews, Chicken Soups and Dishes, Pasta Dishes, etc If you can help us please get in touch with us you can contact any of our volunteers, PM us on Messenger, Send us a direct message on our face book page or you can contact team leader Alan Finn on 0851282546 and within reason we may be able to collect the food from your home and or business. You can also drop the food items to our weekly stall this and or any Saturday evening from around 7.15 to around 9.pm on North Earl Street. We are facing Madigans Bar & Restaurant and not to far from the Spire on O’Connell Street. We are also appealing for sleeping bags, ground mats, tents, Warm winter clothing items, snacks, etc, thank you. Together we can make a difference.