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Homeless crisis Charity group Muslim Sisters says they were 'inundated' with requests for sleeping bags and tents

'People prefer to sleep on the streets as hostels are not safe'

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A picture posted by the Muslim Sisters of Eire on Friday

A picture posted by the Muslim Sisters of Eire on Friday

A picture posted by the Muslim Sisters of Eire on Friday

A charity group that runs a soup kitchen outside Dublin’s GPO on O’Connell Street has again highlighted the dire predicament endured by the city’s homeless population who, they say, would rather sleep out in the cold than go to a hostel. 

The Muslim Sisters of Éire hand out hot meals and other food to the people who queue for help every Friday night.

They have updated followers of their Facebook page on the predicament facing families who have lost jobs as well as those who beg for sleeping bags so they can avoid going to hostels that “are not safe”.

“When our volunteers arrived this evening to set up, it was quite calm but soon they were inundated with requests for sleeping bags and tents,” the group posted on Friday. “We brought 25 sleeping bags and all were gone.

“People prefer to sleep on the streets as hostels are not safe. There were families looking for lunches and basic shop because a lot of people have lost jobs.

“We had nearly 300 meals and within 45 minutes, everything was gone. This is in spite of restricting one meal per person as we knew we were low on hot food this week.”

They added: “We have ordered 100 sleeping bags this week and hoping to get more next week. Unfortunately, some of our volunteers are isolating due to covid and contact tracing so we weren’t able to do a live feed again this week.”

This follows a recent post by the charity that raised the issue of the suitability of hostels after they noticed how many people are looking for sleeping bags so they can sleep outside instead.

“A very busy and exhausting Friday evening,” they posted about the situation earlier this month.

“We had a really long queue waiting to be served by the time we setup the tables. We had croissants, cakes, donuts, breads, crisps, fruits, vegetables, sandwiches and 400 hot meals.

“Everything was gone by the end of the evening. A lot of people were looking for spare sleeping bags and tents as the weather is dry and people don’t want to go into the hostels.

“Unfortunately, hostels are not a safe place for people to be in and people prefer to sleep in the streets rather than go into a hostel.”

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They added: “Our government really needs to look into the situation with the hostels as couples are separated and now prefer sleeping rough and hence look for sleeping bags, tents and hygiene packs.”

Last month we revealed how the charity workers “ran out of meals” after a massive crowd turned up one Friday night.

“We had 580 meals and we ran out of meals. We’ve never seen anything like that in our lives," the charity group said.

“We just couldn’t control the crowds,” the Muslim Sisters of Eire posted on Facebook. “It was like a stampede at the table. The volunteers were getting frightened.

“We had 580 meals and we ran out of meals. We’ve never seen anything like that in our lives. The only way we could control the crowds was by calling the gardai to help us.”

The post ads: “We had seven security and still had problems controlling the people fighting to skip the queue to get the food.

"Imagine being so hungry and desperate for food! Heartbreaking.”

Muslim Sisters of Eire is a women’s charity group that focus on “areas of integration, interfaith activities, fundraising & helping those in economic hardship”.

Their website adds: “We are an independent organisation of mainly Muslim women living in Ireland. We are a voluntary organisation with the purpose of providing support to women (Muslim women in particular), encourage integration and work together to benefit the wider society.”

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