This month we would like to shine spotlight on one of our own, Cathal Doyle, Senior Project Manager, and a project that’s close to his heart, the Central Night Shelter and the Central Shamrocks Basketball League.
Cathal Doyle's father-in-law started the Central Night Shelter 30 years ago. Cathal Doyle got involved after he met his wife, Jessie. Her family’s involvement, he says, “made the shelter a part of my heart.” Cathal and Jessie Doyle would eventually join the board where Cathal would help jump start a 100% volunteer basketball league.
The goal of the Central Night Shelter is not to hand out, but to give a hand up. It’s a place where men who are down on their luck can find a place to better themselves. “The shelter is not a boarding house—it’s a home,” Doyle explained. The Central Night Shelter provides men with art therapy, foot treatment, medical assistance, and, most importantly, a support system. It also provides something that Doyle thinks he’s getting better at, basketball.
The Central Shammrocks Basketball League provides a sense of community and support for the men of the shelter. The league also helps them cope with the frustration of their current situation in a healthy manner, and in a productive environment. Doyle described the feelings on the court, “They’re accepted, they’re not homeless, they have comradery, and they’re comrades.”
Lanier Parking has played a role in the game as well, on one occasion Lanier stepped in to help feed 70 guys for two nights on short notice. Lanier has also provided shirts, hoodies, and a bus to get them to and from their games. Alberto Castellon of Park One in Miami has been known to lend a helping hand and even play in the basketball league. Every Wednesday night around three valets show up to play. These guys are teammates and serve as inspiration for other members of the Central Shamrocks Basketball League, says Doyle. “This is a step forward for them. Lanier and the valets are looked up to. They’re role models.”
When asked about the future of the Central Shammrocks, Doyle says he hopes for growth. “Expand the basketball league, seeing the banter and comradery between the guys gives me a since of joy.”