A pioneering Dublin night café offering services for homeless people dealt with almost 2,000 clients last year.
The Dublin city center venue, operated at the Riverbank Center by Merchant’s Quay, opened in early 2015, offering a place of solitude for those without homes.
Sleeping facilities are limited to a mat on the floor, but clients also can make use of other services like hot showers and free food offered by Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI).
The night café was created in a bid to tackle Ireland’s increasing homeless crisis. Figures show it is now a key aspect of the response - having had 1,893 unique clients last year.
According to the Irish Examiner, the location had 22,000 referrals last year alone - which amounts to 1,860 people a month.
"In November 2017, 8,857 people were in State-managed emergency accommodation, including 1,530 families, 5,524 adults and 3,333 children. More than one homeless person in three is a child." (via @IrishTimes @ColinGleesonIT)https://t.co/miBpVuu30p— Merchants Quay Ireland (@MerchantsQuayIR) March 21, 2018
Figures also show that an average of 53 people were sleeping at the Liffeyside location every night in 2017. The maximum capacity for the venue is 70 people sleeping per night.
According to MQI figures, 84% of those seeking the café’s services were men.
More than one third of those who used the night café in 2017 were aged between 25 and 34, with 12% of the total number of clients aged 18-24.
Another 17% of clients are aged 35-39, while 103 people aged 55 of over used the service during the year.