A Portlaoise charity that helps homeless people has started a new service in Laois to support local people in need.
Portlaoise Action to Homelessness (PATH) volunteers travel to Dublin every Saturday night to distribute food, toiletries, sleeping bags and other essential items to people who are homeless.
The charity committee also works behind the scenes with people in Laois and surrounding areas who are struggling and experiencing poverty.
They help local struggling families to pay for food and they have seen a need for more local help with an increase in calls from people in Laois who struggle to make ends meet.
PATH has started a new mobile service in Portlaoise town centre offering tea, coffee, soup and a chat to anyone local who might want to talk to them or just have a cup of tea.
The service started for the first time last week. PATH want to operate it between 7.30pm and 9 pm on Wednesday evenings in Lyster Square.
Everyone is welcome to use the service, have a cup of tea and a chat with volunteers at the mobile service under the arch in Lyster Square.
Irene Redmond is Chairperson of PATH.
“We want to be more visible in our local community as we do help families and individuals in and around Laois. We have always been helping locally. We do an awful lot of work helping families that are struggling. We are getting more calls lately and we know that there is a huge need to help and so we wanted to be more visible.
“Wednesday night is an opportunity for people to come down and have a cuppa and a chat with us if they want. We will have tea/coffee/soup and a few other items available,” she said.
There is a huge effort from the committee and volunteers to organise the trips to Dublin every Saturday and now the charity has taken on another night of helping those in need.
PATH welcomes new volunteers to help with the huge amount of work they do.
The charity holds an information meeting at Portlaoise Leisure Centre on the first Tuesday of every month at 8 pm for anyone who is curious about their work. New volunteers are welcome to attend.
While PATH does not have the capacity to take donations of clothes for the homeless, they will accept sleeping bags, tents, sweets, chocolate, crisps, hats, scarves, gloves, underwear and toiletries for men and women.
Any donations can be dropped to the Parish Centre in Portlaoise.