'It's really hard': People in Cork resorting to sleeping at work and in cars due to housing crisis

Caitríona Twomey, who runs Cork Penny Dinners on Little Hanover Street, said the charity has become aware of a number of people in that situation.
'It's really hard': People in Cork resorting to sleeping at work and in cars due to housing crisis

Caitriona Twomey pictured on Gravel Lane across from Penny Dinners, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

THE co-ordinator of one of Cork’s oldest charities has said the organisation is now hearing of people whose employers are permitting them to sleep at their place of work overnight, such is the extent of the housing crisis.

Caitríona Twomey, who runs Cork Penny Dinners on Little Hanover Street, said the charity has become aware of a number of people in that situation.

“We know some people and their employers are letting them sleep in their premises because they can’t find a place to live in and they’re staying there when everybody goes home,” she said.

Ms Twomey said the lack of accommodation to rent and the high costs to rent the properties on the market has meant that even people in employment are falling into homelessness.

“People are demented looking for places to rent and then if they do find them a lot of them are outside even a person on a good wage’s budget,” Ms Twomey said.

One man who Penny Dinners assists is sleeping overnight in a storeroom where he works.

“He’s up every morning and out before the other workers show up,” Ms Twomey said.

She said the charity is also aware of some people who are staying in small lock-up rooms, while there are others who are sleeping in their cars as they cannot find somewhere to live.

Among them is one Penny Dinners volunteer who has been sleeping in his car for approximately two months.

The volunteer, who is currently not in employment, said the lack of a fixed address has been a barrier in finding a new job.

“If you’ve no address you can’t get a job. I didn’t realise the situation until I fell into it,” he told The Echo.

He called for the delivery of housing units to be sped up, particularly mentioning vacant properties in the city which he said need to be used for social housing.

“Lucky enough I have a car that I can spend the night in and I’m in a safe area… but it’s really hard,” he continued.

The volunteer said he avails of the facilities at a sports centre in the city to have a shower and often uses the washing machine at Penny Dinners to wash his clothes.

He paid tribute to Ms Twomey who he said saved his life. Ms Twomey encouraged people to support the next cost of living protest on Saturday assembling on Grand Parade at 2pm.

The cost of living crisis, she said, is “impacting heavily” on many families and individuals of all ages.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more