An elderly woman eats a meal from a plastic bowl, provided by the Homeless Street Cafél in Dublin City Centre on Tuesday

The ‘Homeless Street Café’ writes:

Tuesday night was essentially a “successful” night for us. We had food for everyone, lots of clothes and toiletries and even treats for most people. Our volunteers looked after our service users and our cooks and bakers outdid themselves.

But even on your best night it’s nothing but a plaster or a Band-Aid on what is just a horrific wound.

This issue is beyond crisis.

People always want to talk to us about the children we meet and how sad that is. If I’m honest I find the older generation that use our service even more heartbreaking.

It seems there is no time left for change for them, a dearth of hope really.

To be living in food or heat poverty at their age, relying on a soup kitchen for necessities is horrifying to witness.

I watch this woman eat her meal from a plastic bowl on a window sill every week and I despair that this is her ‘golden years’.

…Please vote with these people in mind on the 8th, the current government has failed miserably while claiming to be successful, time for radical change!

The Homeless Street Café (Facebook)

31 thoughts on “Sad Café

  1. GiggidyGoo

    So, once again…..
    Think about it. Would you be ok with FG if your mother (say you’re in your 50s) or grandmother (if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s ) having to take her meals this way?

    Make no mistake – Varadkar, Murphy, Harris, Donohue, Flanagan and Co. don’t discriminate. Anyone that falls on hard times will get severe kickings from those ‘representatives’

    1. Charger Salmons

      Why blame just FG ?
      FF have been part of the government that has allowed this to happen.
      There’s been no opposition calling Varadkar to account since he took office.
      Just everyone feathering their own nests.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Quite right. The instigators though are FG, and their historical record has been the ‘kick them when they’re down’ one.
        FF are complicit alright.

      2. Brother Barnabas

        I couldn’t (and cant) stand bertie ahern but dont think he’d have been as apathetic and disdainful as varadkar etc. he was a crooked, self-serving little sleveen but he had some compassion

        1. Listrade

          Can’t disagree more Brother. FG are at fault for ignoring and then choosing to not manage a crisis. But the roots of where we are lie as much in the past as in the present.

          FF would never have taken on the construction industry to promote social housing over building purely for profit. FF wouldn’t have addressed the wage gap. They would do the centrist route of more welfare rather than address the reasons behind wage gaps.

          That was Bertie’s MO. Throw welfare payments at the problem rather than address the problem. Except when busts happen, welfare is the first thing to go, it’s the Right’s smoking gun for all they say about the poor being spongers and liberals taxing and spending. Bertie would have chosen to keep supporting the profits of the construction industry, maintaining the profits of companies, letting prices escalate (because it’s great, you can get half a million for your house in Beaumont, you too can be rich), and paper over the core problem with welfare increases.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            agree largely, listrade. i’m not saying ahern would have fundamentally solved the problem – and evidently not because he was taoiseach for almost 11 years and it didn’t happen – but he would at least, as you say, thrown money at the problem to paper over it. we wouldn’t have homeless encampments on the canal banks or 5 year olds eating dinner off a piece of cardboard on grafton st. even if only for PR reasons, he wouldn’t have let the homeless issue get so out of control.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            Have to agree BB. The FF party was in the past, usually the one that took care of pensioners etc., built council houses, and things did seem better back then. The change started happening in the last 15-20 years with the realization of the availability of a pile of public cash, and the queue of ‘businessmen’ lining up to grease the paws of the various parties, and the directorships endowed once party folk retired.

            Nowadays there is little or no difference between FF and FG. The longer the both of them have a grip on power, the longer we are fupped.

  2. Kim The Cardassian

    It would be great to see a drive to tackle homelessness with the same gusto that we saw with the fundraising campaign for the Australian fires.

  3. Tomm

    When does it stop? Looking from abroad it seems like 80% of Irish problems are related to the homeless. Its nuts. People are losing all perspective over it and ifs been like this for 4 years at least.

  4. Bruce Wee

    This photo is sad…but generally will have no effect on the majority of us doing anything. Its not a nice thing to admit but is more than likely true.

    Can anyone actually explain the issue with housing. Is it a legislative issue to release land to build on? Is it an issue of a clear strategy to deliver on a plan? Is it money?

    The numbers coming out about houses build seems to fluctuate.

    So instead of not speaking to a canvasing politician at your door, I think this year, I’m actually going to speak to them. I’m going to try and understand why I should vote for them by understanding what they are about. I’m going to ask them all a set of questions to each of them.

    Health and housing seem to have been two of the main topics that have really defined FG tenure in Government. Both of these departments seem to be always the kiss of death, regardless of the political party in charge at the time. The South park episode of voting a giant douche or a Turd Sandwich is pretty apt in this election. Sinn Fein, Labour, Social Democrats, People before profit, Renua, Greens and Independents all seem as options but being honest, I don’t know enough about each of their policies to help with my voting.

    Main thing to do those is Vote. You can check if you are registered here.

    Houses build:

  5. broadbag

    If these homelessness groups are politicising the issue they should declare what links and affiliations they have to other political parties and why they are so sure that another party in govt would do any better.

    Perhaps they would be better advised to look into the people who are making money out of the homeless, and why SO many different charities and groups exist that use the homeless to line their own pockets.

    Volunteers are the only ones with a clear conscience in that sector and they should be applauded for the selfless work they do (as long as they’re not using homeless people as a front for pushing Sinn Fein on the dim-witted.)

      1. broadbag

        I’m not a bot and I won’t be voting FFG, but feel free to assume whatever nonsense keeps you happy in your permanently outraged echo chamber.

    1. Listrade

      Maybe the issue is being politicised because it is a political issue?

      I like your style of sticking the knife into the charities. Would have come across better if you included some of the political vultures who are picking a decent living off homelessness. I mean sure, working for a charity part time or for minimum wage is gross opportunism, but the political appointments to committees and task forces that sit and talk and claim expenses and go on visits to other countries and write reports that aren’t actioned aren’t. The senior civil servants and senior council workers who get board positions on task forces and committees aren’t mentioned. NAMA and those who feed at its piggy teat isn’t mentioned, even though it was told in 2016 to prioritise its sales to alleviate the problem, but chose the easier option of friendly Vulture funds with open cheques.

      But at least we can scowl at the person handing out soup at 2am because they profit from a basic pay for their time.

      1. broadbag

        True indeed, the political vultures on committees and task forces are just as bad/worse.

        It’s not the front line workers earning basic pay I have a problem with, it’s the endless line of CEOs on 100,000+ salaries, all the HQs, all the press packs and PR guff replicated over and over with minor variation by the homogenous ‘charities’ – amalgamating them all would surely yield huge savings which could be spent on the people who actually need the money, or on housing/feeding/helping said people.

  6. Spaghetti Hoop

    Given our (Ireland, Europe) ageing population, senior citizens in poverty will only increase as not all will have private pensions to live on. Will either of the F’ers who form the next government address this impending crisis in the long-term while easing the current one?

  7. frank

    I’m surprised anyone thinks this is a new problem.
    My first job out of college 25 years ago was on Lower Baggot street.
    Every morning all the busy people passed by the corner of Lower Baggot street and Herbert place. There would be perhaps a half a dozen poor wretches sleeping on that corner most mornings. For quite awhile they had mattresses thrown down on the footpath too. The mattresses and sleeping bags would be removed and the wretches moved on by lunch hour most days only to appear again the following morning sleeping on the ground this time.
    The only new part of this is the move from sleeping on the footpath to sleeping in a tent.

    Dublin City Council or Waterways Ireland or the Lord Mayor or FG or FF or SF or Labour or the Greens should tell us exactly what is going on because all of them (at one time or another) have been dealing with the problem for over 20 years but have failed to provide a solution. This hasn’t happened just today or yesterday.

    1. kellma

      A good friend of mine works with one of these “terrible” homeless charities. She has done for years. And yes, homelessness is not a new phenomenon but the type of homelessness we are witnessing in the last few years is. What has struck her most is the amount of working families that have no where affordable to live. She said it is shocking. And that is the great shame. We need people to do minimum wage jobs in Dublin and they need to be able to live somewhere but more and more, they can’t.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      25 years ago, a lot of housing stock was still owned by county councils, i.e. not sold to tenants. There were certainly no families living in hotels. More working poor today than in the 90s.


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