Please support Cork’s Big Rebel Sleep Out

Focus Ireland helps at least one family a day to secure a home. However, on the very same day, at least three more families become homeless, says DICK WHITE, Cork Area Fundraising and Marketing Executive
Please support Cork’s Big Rebel Sleep Out
Corky The Cheetah, Ger Spillane, Focus Ireland Regional Manager; Cian Warrington, Focus Ireland Youth Services; Adam Spillane from Ballintotis; and Karl Sheppard, Cork City F.C. braving the cold and wet at Cork City FC training ground, Curraheen Road, Cork, to launch "The Big Rebel Sleep Out" for Focus Ireland. Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

THERE is a record number of nearly 10,000 people homeless in Ireland as the most recent figures report 9,987 people homeless in January.

The figures from the Department of Housing also shockingly show that 3,624 of this number are children (in 1,614 families).

It is clear that the housing and homelessness crisis is getting worse despite much good work being done. In Cork city and county there are 349 adults experiencing homelessness. Focus Ireland helps at least one family a day to secure a home through our work around the country. However, the very same day, at least three more families become homeless, so the situation continues to worsen.

At Focus Ireland Cork we put all our energy into helping those impacted and finding practical solutions. This is what we are working towards and we are helping families and people in Cork every day who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. We have a track record of working hard in Cork. In 2017 we marked 10 years of challenging homelessness and changing lives through our work providing services and housing in the county. We work with the State, and the local authorities in Cork and nationwide to carry out this work, but we also rely heavily on the amazing support of the public.

We simply would not be able to help — or house — the number of families and individuals we do each year without the ongoing generous support from people helping us in our work. This is why we are now urging all Corkonians to support Focus Ireland’s BIG REBEL SLEEP OUT, which is organised in association with Cork City FC.

This great event is set for Saturday, April 13 2019 at Cork City FC training ground at Bishopstown, Curraheen. This event is an opportunity for anyone interested in solving homelessness here in Cork to sign-up for this awareness building, and income creating, event. As the homeless crisis deepens both locally and nationally this is a real call-to-action for everyone to make a difference.

Across Ireland more children have sadly now been born into homelessness than ever before. Some of them will spend each day stuck with their family, forced to live in one little room together in a hotel or other emergency accommodation. They are our children too and we have a duty as a society to provide a safe home for them. This is what we are working to do.

How can we stand by while families and their children who are homeless are forced to live in one hotel room for months at a time? There is nowhere safe for the children to play, do their homework or for the family to even cook a meal.

This is causing terrible damage for these families and also the many single people who are homeless, stuck in hostels or some even sleeping on the streets.

Focus Ireland continues to put forward realistic policy solutions to help prevent and end homelessness. We do this work through our services locally at 27 South Mall, Cork city and around the country.

While the crisis is still deepening, the situation would be much worse without the lifeline services and housing we provide.

It is vital our society does not lose sight of the fact that homelessness can be prevented — and ended — if the right decisions are taken. We need more homes to end this crisis, not more hotel rooms.

We need a massive rise in the numbers of social homes being built.

The Government must also implement a specific family homelessness strategy that includes a commitment that no family will be left without shelter and a cast iron deadline that no family will be homeless for more than six months. This needs to be done now.

We also really need the continued support of people in Cork to keep our work going and helping so many. The reality is that over €4 of every €10 we spend has to be generated from the community and business sectors, and without this support we would be unable to deliver our services.

People can rest assured that 89 cent of every €1 generated goes to our frontline services. That is why your support and participation in Big Rebel Sleep Out is vital. Go on…… be a rebel, sleep out for Focus Ireland.

If you would like to take part in Focus Ireland’s BIG REBEL SLEEP OUT, which is organised in association with Cork City FC, please contact Dick White on 086 8223690 or dick.white@focusireland.ie

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