'In 2017 for people to be queuing for food and nappies is appalling'- Brother Kevin says homeless crisis is a 'scandal'
Brother Kevin Crowley has described the worsening homeless crisis as a "scandal" and warned "the recession is not over".
The homeless campaigner, who runs the Capuchin Day Centre in the inner-city, also said that he has serious concerns about the large number of mothers and children staying in hotels.
"The only people making money are the hotel people and it is an absolute scandal that in this day and age nothing can be done for housing. Promises have been made constantly and it is time that something is seriously done about it," he said.
"I think that in this day and age in 2017, it is appalling that people have to queue for food, baby goods and nappies. When we hear the recession is over, as far as I'm concerned the recession isn't over and if anything, for us it is even worse," Brother Kevin added.
He was speaking this morning at the beginning of the Cycle for Brother Kevin, in which almost 70 cyclists are hoping to raise over €100,000 for the Capuchin Centre by riding a mammoth 320km cross-country.
The event, currently in its seventh year, features 65 cyclists this year including gardai and prison officers.
The volunteers left the Capuchin centre at 9am this morning and hope to complete the gruelling 320km trip to the Broadhaven hotel in Belmullet, Co Mayo by 6pm tomorrow evening.
Garda Gary Moran, one of the event organisers, said that the interest for the Cycle for Brother Kevin has grown every year since 2010.
"We'll split up the trip evenly with 160km each day. This year there are 69 cyclists going. Each cyclist has raised money for charity and there has also been corporate sponsorship from various people. There is massive interest in sponsors and cyclists in the last number of years. Last year we raised over €100,000 and this year we hope to again, all going well, and it's all for the Capuchin Centre," he said.
Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams is also accompanying the volunteer cyclists as support staff.
Brother Kevin said that the cycle is "one of the biggest fundraising events" for the centre, which feeds over 1,000 every day and has annual running costs of €3.3m.
"At the moment we are well over the €100,000 mark from the cycling, it's fantastic and these people, men and women who give their time over the two days for the homeless and underprivileged. Only for those people this would be impossible," Brother Kevin said.
People can donate to the charity cycle by texting hope to 50300, with €1.63 of the €2 cost going directly to the Capuchin Centre.
Another of the event's organisers, Aidan Walsh, said that the cycle had grown from a small group of close friends to a large event in a short space of time.
"A couple of friends of mine on the committee asked to come on board because of the work I do with running projects. We're massively grateful to all of the workers. We've physios, mechanics as well as ambulance and support staff and an awful lot of lads who are taking time out of their day jobs to help out."