This picture throws light onto the tragic situation of homelessness and the issues that come along with it.
A volunteer at the Ballymun Soup Run in North Dublin took a picture of a homeless girl eating a meal out of a plastic container as she sits on a crate. The picture was shared on the soup kitchen's page with the caption: "our government is to blame for this." Soon enough, the picture reached Tony Walsh, the co-founder of Feed Our Homeless. He also posted the photo on social media and called it 'shameful and totally unacceptable' - before slamming the Irish government over the housing crisis.
"This Photo of a young child eating his dinner sitting on a crate on the streets of Dublin Shameful & totally unacceptable. No child should have to sit on the streets like this eating three dinners simply because they have no place to call home. Shame on our government."
How shameful.— People Before Profit (@pb4p) April 12, 2021
This photograph, from the Ballymun Soup Run shows one of the many children they have to feed every day.
A recent report from St. Vincent de Paul revealed 24% of people have been forced to cut-back on food, heating or electricity due to cost, during the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/aJCaSneVc0
Soon, many people took to the comments section to express their grief and anger at the current situation. One user shared: "This is heartbreaking. I'm 65 and will probably never vote any of the main political parties ever again. Why continue to make the same decisions but yet expect a different outcome. Lunacy." Another added: "I cannot begin to express how angry this makes me feel. A little child, or anyone, homeless and eating on the street. It is not acceptable, it never was and it never will be."
HER ONLY hot meal of the day.— Mick Caul 😷 (@caulmick) April 18, 2021
▪️Outrage over photo showing homeless girl, four, eating dinner from plastic container on side of street #HowIrelandWorks #not1home https://t.co/7AETUzrHAs pic.twitter.com/GK6y0pYSOn
A third shared: "Truly heartbreaking image, the mental issues these children will suffer as a result of this up bringing will be devastating and be with them all their lives.There are so many things wrong with that image.:
Per Dublin Live, there are 8,238 people homeless in Ireland, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Housing. The volunteer who took the photo told the publication that she had “no words”.
“Our Government should hang their heads in shame. A four-year-old baby and one of the only places they have to have a home-cooked meal is our team? These children should have a kitchen table to sit at and have dinner, not on the ground on a crate at our soup kitchen."
This is unacceptable! Yet, we get billions given to charities pretending to eradicate poverty.— The Enigma (@ArnieArmani) April 19, 2021
According to The Irish Times, back in November 2020, a spokesman for Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the Minister acknowledged numbers enduring homelessness were “simply too high”.
“In particular, he recognizes the growing number of single adults in emergency accommodation and wants to see a greater emphasis on the delivering one-bedroom social homes . . . The program for government commits to expanding the Housing First approach with a focus on the construction and acquisition of one-bed homes and the provision of relevant supporting services.”
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Ballymun Soup Run