By Sean Ryan - 21 November, 2015
“Christmas should be a time of joy for people to gather and share the happiness of the season in their own homes."
Focus Ireland founder, Sr Stan, has launched a new campaign urgently appealing for public donations to help fund the charity’s vital work tackling the growing homeless crisis.
The campaign highlights the stark fact that there are over 1,500 children and up to 800 families now homeless in Ireland.
The new campaign features radio and outdoor ads.
The outdoor billboard ad features the line: “The nightmare of homelessness. Over 1500 children have no place to call home. Help us to help them.”
Focus Ireland’s family team supports families and children who are homeless and works to help them secure a home.
Focus Ireland says it helps 15 to 20 families to secure a home each month but with 70 to 80 families becoming homeless every month the need for our services has never been greater.
With six weeks left to Christmas, Sr Stan spoke to CatholicIreland.net of the terrible impact that being homeless has on children.
“Christmas should be a time of joy for people to gather and share the happiness of the season in their own homes. However, it breaks my heart to say that tonight alone there will be over 1,500 children and their families who have no place to call home. It’s the children who feel it the worst,” she said.
“Many children and their families who are homeless are often squeezed into one tiny hotel rooms – 3, 4, 5 people in one room, nowhere to cook or for children to play. And it’s not just families. There are many single people and couples homeless and they all need a place to call home.”
Sr Stan highlighted the vital role Focus Ireland’s lifeline services play in supporting these families: “Every day Focus Ireland is changing the lives of hundreds of struggling families. With your support we can help even more.”
She added, “Focus Ireland is working hard to support these families every day and not just at Christmas but we really depend on donations at this time of year to raise vital funds to make sure our services can cope with the ever rising demand. I am asking people to please give what they can afford to support our urgent Christmas appeal.”
The charity said this Christmas will be a very challenging time as demand for its services has grown by over 44% in the last two years and the rising number of families and single people seeking support continues this year.
According to Sr Stan, “Focus Ireland supported over 11,500 people last year who were homeless or at risk of losing their home. This great work was possible because people all over the country still think of others despite times being tough for all and they donated what they could to support our work.”
“We really need people to give what they can so Focus Ireland can be there to support the people who need it the most this Christmas and all through the year.”
People can donate at www.focusireland.ie or 1850 204 205.