Press Release

Blisters, Dehydration and Sunburn: Summer Brings More Hardship for People Who are Homeless

Blisters, Dehydration and Sunburn: Summer Brings More Hardship for People Who are Homeless


Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), the national homeless and drug services charity, has today launched its summer appeal, highlighting that summer brings greater hardship for people living on the streets.

Warmer weather and longer days mean that people who are homeless can feel more visible, vulnerable, and ashamed of their situation.

Restricted access to toilet and wash facilities due to COVID continues, and as a result people struggle to keep clean in the heat.

Issues such as dehydration, sunburn, and injured feet are more prevalent over the summer months.

MQI CEO Paula Byrne says:

“Many people think that if you’re homeless, summer is easier. In reality, the warmer weather causes a range of additional problems for people sleeping on the streets. All too often, our clients are on their feet, walking around the city all day in inappropriate winter shoes. This appeal will help fund Summer Care Kits to ease the suffering caused by blisters, sore feet, dehydration and sun burn.”

MQI Client Liam, who is currently sleeping rough in Dublin, told us:

“I can’t believe what’s happening to me. I had a good job, but I got made redundant when the pandemic hit. I lost everything and I just feel so ashamed. I don’t know how much longer I can take it. I hate not being able to keep myself clean. The way some people look at me as they pass by, it’s like they’re disgusted. I don’t even feel human anymore.”

You can help support MQI’s work by going to


For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, or to access MQI official imagery, please contact:

Laura McDowell
Communications Officer
Merchants Quay Ireland
M: 086 7793 206

Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR

Notes to Editor

About MQI

Merchants Quay Ireland is the national charity working with people who are homeless and in addiction. The organisation provides services ranging from open access crisis intervention and health promotion services to day-support programmes, residential treatment, detox, and prison counselling. MQI Outreach Teams have been operating as normal, and the charity has continued to provide a full meal service as well nursing, GP, and harm reduction services to clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020 alone, almost 10,000 (9,882) people accessed MQI services, with 1,331 of those supported by our Outreach Teams.

On average, each week, MQI’s Riverbank centre sees:

  • 70 visits to mental health case workers
  • 47 people provided with dry clothing
  • 503 meals distributed
  • 69 GP visits
  • 36 visits to the nurse

Each Summer Care Kit will contain, water, a sandwich, piece of fruit, baby wipes, antiseptic wipes, sun cream, fresh socks and underwear, hand sanitiser, plasters, and a mask, to bring comfort and dignity to people sleeping rough.

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