Our principal, Ms. Harper, has been using some of her time at the moment to volunteer at the Light House homeless service. This charity provides free meals to the homeless community in Dublin city. Ms Harper says the experience has been a real eye opener to the struggles of many people in our society but it also shows how incredibly kind people are especially in the current crisis. A donation box for food for the Light House service has been set up in the car park of St Patrick’s church. The donations are collected from the box on an ongoing basis and taken to the Light House service. Ms Harper says local families have been so generous in making donations. Often the most difficult of times brings out the best in people.
Greystones Principal Swaps Classroom for Kitchen
While her pupils and their parents have been getting to grips with homeschooling, the principal of St Patrick’s National School in Greystones, Rachel Harper, has been brushing up on her culinary skills. She is volunteering in the kitchen at the Light House Homeless Centre on Pearse Street and St Patrick’s parish and school are uniting to support the centre by collecting donations towards to food packs which are given out at the centre daily.
In ‘normal’ times Dublin’s busy streets provide something bordering on sufficiency for people who are homeless. While in a situation that many of us find unimaginable and intolerable, people living rough at least have the opportunity to seek the charity of passers-by for contributions towards food and sometimes a bed for the night and, as importantly, exchange a few words to affirm their mutual humanity. But now the city’s streets are deserted due to the Covid-19 lockdown and many charities that support homeless people have been forced to close temporarily.
The Light House Homeless Centre, run by Dublin Christian Mission, is still open and it has experienced a huge surge in demand for its services. Rachel said she is in awe of the work people do at the centre which now serves over 200 hot meals a day.
“During this worldwide lockdown resulting from Covid 19, I have been trying to do my bit by volunteering with The Light House Homeless Centre,” she commented. “What has really struck a chord with me is they cook and distribute 200 hot, nutritious and very tasty meals a day for the homeless. They also put together a well thought out food bag containing the hot dinner, a cold drink, piece of fruit, pastry/bread and a chocolate bar (as a pick-me-up). For many this is the only food parcel they may receive for the day, as I am sure you are aware, a lot of the drop-in centres have had to close during these current times.”
The centre is in dire need of supplies to fill the food packs which are distributed every day, seven days a week. This is where the school and parish community is rowing in to help. They are being asked to donate fruit and vegetables, juice cartons or small water bottles, snack sized chocolate bars, crisps and packs of underwear and socks.
St Patrick’s Rector, Canon David Mungavin, has offered the use of the church car park as a drop off station for people’s contributions. There is a pink box at the bottom of the steps up to the church (on the Rectory side) for donations which is checked regularly.
“At a time when we are all severely restricted yet reflecting on the call to faith we have found many people feel a sense purpose by supporting this area of acute need. Since the start of the lockdown the Light House Homeless Centre has experienced a stampede for meals and provisions. Offering over 200 cooked meals a day, the centre is a is also a beacon of hope for many who are on the streets,” he explained.
If your parish or school community would like to support the Light House Homeless Centre you can contact them to discuss what arrangements could be made to transport donations: or 087-9701063. Further information on the centre and Dublin Christian Mission is available at where financial donations can also be made.
Lighthouse contact details
Co Dublin, Ireland
Tel +353 1 6775548