The Capuchin Day Centre has announced it is to donate €5m for a housing initiative.

The donation will fund the building of 25 homes to be delivered by the Peter McVerry Trust.

In a statement, the centre’s founder Brother Kevin Crowley said the centre had been looking at how best it can respond to the homeless crisis.

"The growth in families requiring our services is truly shocking and it troubles us greatly that children in our country have nowhere to call home," he said.

"We are not a housing organisation. We don’t have that expertise. After careful consideration and advice, we decided to fund a housing initiative via Peter McVerry Trust to secure a minimum of 25 housing units for those in greatest need."

The Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin’s north inner city helps around 300 people a day providing food, clothing, showers and medical attention.

In deciding to fund the housing initiative, Brother Kevin said they had sought the advice of the Charities Regulator to ensure the donation was made in line with best practice.

"We are always aware that our donors place enormous trust in us to determine how best to use our resources," he said.

"We are grateful to every single person who has donated to us as it helps to care for and respond to the needs of those who use our service with a sense of respect and dignity. It is our donors that make the difference every day."

The Peter McVerry Trust said: "We are very grateful for the generosity from Brother Kevin and all those at the Capuchin Day Centre and for placing their trust in us. This money has already secured 25 new social housing units."

Speaking to RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Brother Kevin said that "very generous donations" from the public over the last year had enabled the centre to make the €5m donation, adding that the Pope's visit last year had been "a huge boost".

Peter McVerry Trust CEO Pat Doyle said the money is a real boost for its development programme and it was the single biggest donation ever received by the Trust.

Mr Doyle said the rolling programme is targeting 25 units in Dublin and Kildare.

He said it will help to take people out of bed and breakfasts and hotels.