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Can you help me support Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light 2019 campaign?

I need your help. Will you please consider helping me to fund raise for Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light campaign, to enable people to get out of homelessness?

The Department of Housing has stated that there were 10,172 people homeless in June 2019 across Ireland. This includes adults and children. The number of homeless families has increased by 200% since May 2015. More than one in three people in emergency accommodation is a child. *Focus Ireland

I find these numbers shocking in themselves, however, these official statistics do not include those people who are in a situation of hidden homelessness. These are the people who are living in squats, or “sofa surfing” with friends and extended family. Women and children staying in domestic violence refuges are also not included in the official statistics on homelessness. And the national figure of 10,172 also does not include people who are sleeping rough (in April 2019 in Dublin alone 128 people were recorded by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive as sleeping rough). So, I think it is fair to say the official figure of 10,172 is an underestimation!

Focus Ireland works with people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes across Ireland and campaign to address the causes of homelessness which are always complex. According to Focus Ireland, broadly speaking, homelessness can be caused by ‘structural factors’ (like lack of affordable housing, unemployment, poverty, inadequate mental health services, etc) or ‘personal factors’ (like addictions, mental health issues, family breakdown etc). Focus Ireland believes that everyone has a right to a place they can call home.

I feel the same. People who find themselves homeless come from all different backgrounds, different socio-economic groups, different nationalities. As a champion of an inclusive society, I feel very strongly that homelessness is something all of us should be tackling.

This is why on October 18, I’ll be sleeping out in the grounds of the Law Society of Ireland in order to support Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light campaign to raise funds to help support people get out of homelessness, and back into the security of their own home. Last year, Focus Ireland helped 500 families to escape homelessness and move into a home of their own, and helped an additional 300 families from losing their home. That’s 800 families whose lives have changed forever; who can now wake up on Sunday morning and have breakfast together in their own kitchen.

I want to make a difference. I'm inspired by the work of Focus Ireland and want to support them by raising money as part of my participation in Shine a light 2019. Please help me help them by giving whatever you can by clicking here and donating on my fundraising page. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!

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