Focus Ireland's Head Chef, Paddy Markey, discusses the large increase in families using homeless services compared to previous years, and gives us an insight into the daily work involved in running Focus Ireland's Coffee Shop.
The Focus Ireland Coffee Shop in Temple Bar is open every day of the year and will be open on Christmas Day to serve dinner to families and people homeless in Dublin.
The charity’s flagship service first opened in 1985 when Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy first founded the leading housing and homeless charity.
Focus Ireland Services Manager John O’Haire spoke about the great work at the charity’s flagship Coffee Shop & Advice Centre in Temple Bar in Dublin as he reported the service has served over 40,000 meals this year and helped over 7,000 people.
John O’Haire said: “It is awful to see anyone homeless and to see families with their children coming in to us at this time of year every evening is terrible. We really do depend on donations now more than ever so our services are here to help people and can cope with the constantly rising demand."
Focus Ireland is making an urgent appeal for donations as it reported an 11% jump in the number of people helped by the charity nationwide so far this year. As the crisis continues to deepen Focus Ireland said it has helped 15,000 people (who are homeless or at risk of losing their home) in the first 11 months of this year compared to 13,500 in the same period in 2017.
The charity stressed that while it receives State funding it also needs to raise at least 50% of its annual budget to keep its services and housing running. Focus Ireland said 89 cents of every euro it receives is spent on work to combat and prevent homelessness. The charity provides services across Ireland including in: Cork, Dublin. Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.
People can donate at www.focusireland.ie or by phoning 1850 204 205.