As we emerge from the pandemic, we can’t forget that people are experiencing homelessness across Ireland. And they are more vulnerable now than ever. The temporary ban on evictions and the rent freeze while Level 5 restrictions were in place helped to cut the numbers becoming homeless. But as lockdown eases, the number of families and children becoming homeless is on the rise.
In Ireland right now, there are over 8,000 people experiencing homelessness. 2,129 of them are children. Over the course of the pandemic, Focus Ireland has seen a 50% increase in the demand for their services. In 2020 alone, they served 82,000 takeaway meals to those in need, up from 47,000 the previous year.
To spread awareness and to raise much-needed funds, EY Financial Services Ireland’s Lisa Kealy, along with members of the Irish Funds team, will be taking part in Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light sleepout. The event is being held virtually on Friday, October 15.
The Shine A Light sleepout raises funds for Focus Ireland in its fight against homelessness. Last year, thanks to overwhelming support, Lisa and the team raised over €54,000. This year, they’d like to match that figure this year, if not pass it. You can help them do that here.
Focus Ireland is calling on business leaders and companies to sign up and support the Shine A Light initiative. You can make a difference by pledging to fundraise, take part in events or organise a simulated sleepout in your own home.
The demand for Focus Ireland services has increased during the pandemic. And demand will keep growing as the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue. The fundraising goal for Shine A Light Night this year is €1.5 million. The money raised will support people experiencing homelessness across the country. Since the event first began, Shine A Light Night has raised over €7.1m.