The head of a homeless advocacy group has said that the & # 39; huge deficit & # 39; to homes in Ireland has allowed families in Dublin to sleep on streets, tents and hostels.
Father Sean Donohoe, co-director of Capuchin Day Center in Dublin, spoke on the second day of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF).
The Pope will visit the center on Saturday as part of his visit to Ireland.
Founded by Capuchin Brother Kevin Crowley, the Center offers 1,000 hot meals a day, clothes and showers to the homeless in Dublin.
Fr Sean said that although the center can not solve the homeless crisis, it can help mitigate the problem.
He spoke during a panel discussion about homelessness entitled No Room At The Inn.
"There is a huge shortage of housing in Ireland," he said.
"We have homeless people who are clear to us, who sleep on our streets, in tents, in hostels and emergency centers and hotels.
"We still have other people living at home who, like young adults, have lived at home for a long time and can not buy a house.
"There are people who sleep on couches, they too are homeless even though they are not included in government statistics because they are supposed to be accommodated.
"Although there is no doubt that there is a crisis, I am also convinced that there is a lively Christian reaction in our culture."
He told about the work of the Capuchin Center and its goal to provide food and shelter for the homeless.
"In the center we have a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a social worker and a hairdresser."
Hundreds of people make daily use of their services.
"We can not solve the homeless problem in our country, we can alleviate the situation for those who have nothing."
Also during the event was Conor Hickey, chief executive of Crosscare, a charity for social support of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, who said that homeless families did not exist three years ago.
He added: "Traditionally, homeless people are associated with a person who may have a number of problems.
"The current homeless crisis is determined by families and individuals who do not have houses.
"Families who, through economic problems of their own control, struggled to find somewhere to live."
The WMOF will run for five days, where thousands of pilgrims will participate in the pastoral congress.
Families and individuals will attend workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions.