‘The number one rule is that we never judge anyone’

Covid-19 hit the already vulnerable homeless community with tremendous force, but charities such as Penny Dinners, Cope Galway and Inner City Helping Homeless are working overtime to ameliorate the worst of the crisis

Caitriona Twomey, Cork Penny Dinners: ‘No two days are the same here. While we have regulars who call every day, we also have people who are coming here for the first time.’ Picture: John Allen

It’s 9am on a blustery Tuesday morning on Little Hanover Street in Cork. Two women are already waiting when the door of Penny Dinners opens for business.

“We come here every morning,” says the first woman, who gives her name as Sarah. Both are greeted at the door by a volunteer and given green-and-white-striped plastic bags, containing a hot meal, a sandwich, a soft drink, snacks and fruit.

“The food here is always very good, ...