The Simon hostel on Charlotte Quay in Limerick offers food and shelter to the homeless men of the city.
An excerpt from a poem by Brother Stephen Russell published in his book 'There but for the Grace of God'.
Men who have lost the battle against the pressures of this life,
Who are bruised, bemused and battered by endless stress and strife,
There in find a shelter and though outcasts they may be,
They find new hope and supper in the Simon hostel Charlotte Quay.
All proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the Simon Community building fund.
Overcrowded and appallingly dilapidated it may be, but the hostel at Charlotte Quay provides a roof and a warm meal for many homeless men of Limerick.
Brother Stephen Russell describes how many of the residents have better living conditions thanks to the hostel as opposed to sleeping rough on the street. Some have criminal backgrounds or have suffered mental health problems, and the hostel provides these men with a sanctuary. For Brother Stephen, it is a great privilege to work among the poor men of the city.
We accept any man who is absolutely destitute, who is need of a bed for the night.
One of the only rules of the hostel is that no alcohol is allowed.
The hostel also serves an evening meal from 6.45 pm continuing until 9.00 am with the kitchen open all night long.
The hostel is run by volunteers with Brother Stephen making the beds with the help of Michael Daly and Brother Anthony Ferri on kitchen duty.
For all the good the hostel does, the building itself is a fire hazard and in a condition of dangerous repair. Brother Stephen hopes to have a new hostel built within the next eighteen months provided they can find the necessary funding.
This episode of 'This Day' was broadcast on 3 February 1974. The reporter is Nodlaig McCarthy.
Broadcast weekly from 1973 to 1975, ‘This Day’ is described in the RTÉ Guide of 7 December 1973, as
A magazine series on matters religious and otherwise, from up and down the country.
The series was produced by Jeremy Johnston.