By Sean Ryan - 30 April, 2017
Homeless charity Focus Ireland will this week mark ten years of challenging homelessness in Sligo.
On 5 May next Focus Ireland, which was founded by Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, will hold a special ‘Stand Up to Homelessness’ event to mark this decade of service in Sligo, and is inviting people to sign up to paddle board across Lough Gill and down the Garavogue River.
Speaking this week, Mary Jameson of Focus Ireland said: “Focus Ireland opened its doors in 69 John St, Sligo this time ten years ago in 2007. Now in 2017 we are still making an impact by supporting people at risk of losing their homes and those who are homeless. Our work has touched many lives over the years and we wanted to stage a different type of event that will act to celebrate the great successes over the years. The impact of our work has been really positive and has helped many people to secure a home while we have also managed to prevent many other people becoming homeless in the first place. We want people to join us to ‘Stand Up to Homelessness’ and say that it is wrong for anyone to be homeless.”
Mayor of Sligo Cllr Marie Casserly (Indp) said at the launch of the event this week that she was “delighted to be associated with this Focus Ireland event. Focus Ireland provide a service to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Focus Ireland identify the best available supports and options to assist people who are homeless or on their journey out of homelessness. As European Capital of Volunteering, it is appropriate that Focus Ireland mark their 10th anniversary in Sligo with this event. I would encourage as many people as possible to come out and take part. No experience is necessary to take part in SUH; if I can do it anyone can.”
The numbers accessing Focus Ireland’s services in Sligo jumped by 50 per cent last year, with the majority (172 people) looking for advice or information on accommodation options. The organisation has 14 apartments in Sligo town for single people and accommodation for two families. It also manages 23 apartments on behalf of the local authority in Sligo town.
More information about the Focus Ireland 10th Anniversary ‘Stand Up to Homelessness’ paddle board event can be had by contacting the Focus Ireland Sligo Office on 071-91 49974/071-91 49970 and email: [email protected].