The head of one of Dublin’s biggest homeless services says he’s concerned for the future as more people look for help.
Brother Kevin Crowley is retiring from the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street in Smithfield today.
The 87-year-old Cork man devoted his life to the poor. It’s being described as the end of an era, after helping to set up the service in 1969.
Ever since then, the centre has provided hot meals, food parcels, clothing and day care facilities for homeless people and those most in need.
He’s very concerned at the impact felt by ordinary families from the cost of living crisis and the pressures being felt all these years on from the founding of the centre.
”On Wednesday we give out food parcels and that’s still up over 1,000. We give out baby food and baby nappies and there’s a couple of hundred families with those. It’s very sad to see so many people coming back in 2022 for food and queuing up. That saddens me.”
Alan Bailey manager of the Capuchin Day Centre says Brother Kevin is the driving force behind the shelter that’s been in operation since 1969 – going from a prefab to a state-of-the-art facility.
”There’s nobody fit to replace him. He’s unique. He’s totally committed to the homeless. Without him this place would not be here.”
Brother Kevin told Pope Francis who visited the centre in 2018 on his Papal visit that it was providing over 800 meals by 2018.
The Centre handed out around 3,000 food vouchers to help people over the Christmas period.
President Michael D. Higgins has outlined his enormous respect for Brother Kevin Crowley:
“May I take this opportunity to extend my very best wishes to Brother Kevin Crowley as he retires today from the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin.
Since founding the centre in 1969, Brother Kevin has led an invaluable service that is providing essential food and compassion to those most in need in our capital city.
Pope Francis has spoken of a ‘culture of indifference’ and has challenged us all not to avert our gaze or to turn away from those who suffer on our shared planet. Brother Kevin, and those who work alongside him, in their work are meeting this challenge every day.
May I take this opportunity to thank Brother Kevin and all those in the Capuchin Day Centre for their great spirit of shared humanity and determined pursuit of dignity, their practical work in the delivery of human rights for all our fellow citizens. May I wish Brother Kevin my very best wishes for the future on his return to his native Cork.”