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Merchants Quay Ireland launches urgent appeal for Sunday dinner services

Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), the national homeless and addiction charity, has today launched an urgent Lenten appeal aimed at raising funds for its Sunday dinner service.

Every Sunday up to 300 people come to MQI for dinner – the only place in Dublin for people who are homeless to get a free hot meal on a Sunday. However, the service receives insufficient state funding and with demand growing, the charity is keen to protect its future.

The service, which costs over €200,000 a year to run, also provides a vital opportunity for MQI staff to engage with marginalised individuals and support them with crisis help and referrals.  People who come to MQI on a Sunday can also avail of a hot shower, dry clothes, vital social connection and companionship.

The charity has raised concerns that they are now seeing people who have accommodation but cannot afford to cook in their own homes.

Launching the appeal, Merchants Quay Ireland CEO Paula Byrne said:

“Merchants Quay Ireland has been providing hot meals to Dublin’s homeless for decades. Meeting these basic needs is at the core of what we do. But the demand for our Sunday services is now unprecedented.

“We are now seeing people who have a home, but they can’t afford the heating or the food to cook. We provide a full meal, and our team work to create a family atmosphere. It’s something our clients really appreciate.”

Maura, a Sunday services client said:

“There’s no gas or electricity where I’m living. I come here on Sundays for a hot meal and to have a shower with hot water. I can fill my flask with hot water as well to take home with me.”

Mark, a Sunday service client said:

“The days are so long when you’re homeless, you need to get out of the cold. It’s a real Sunday atmosphere here, a proper Sunday dinner. This place is a lifeline for a lot of us.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Rooney
Communications Officer
Merchants Quay Ireland
T: 01 531 2958
M: 086 7793 208
Email: andrew.rooney@mqi.ie

Website: www.mqi.ie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MerchantsQuayIR
Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR  

About Merchants Quay Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland is a leading Irish 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, educational programmes, vocational training, residential treatment, detox and prison counselling. www.mqi.ie.

To find out more about Merchants Quay Ireland’s work, please see our newly released short film: https://youtu.be/8SkkmxdtLyE

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