Business leaders show support for Focus Ireland Shine a Light Night

Homeless crisis escalates as 1 in 3 in emergency accommodation are children

Focus Ireland launched its annual ‘Shine a Light Night’ fundraiser, an event that sees the business community swap their executive chairs for sleeping bags in a gesture of solidarity with people experiencing homelessness on Friday, 21st October 2016. On the same night, hundreds of workers in workplaces throughout Ireland are being asked to host sleep-in’s or sleep-out’s to raise vital funds.

There two ways for everyone to get involved in the Shine a Light Night on Friday, 21st October:
• If you are a business leader, sign up for the ‘Business Leaders Sleep-Out’ at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin or Cork’s historic City Gaol.
• If you are an employee, recruit your work colleagues to host a workplace group sleep-in or sleep-out.

The business leader sleep out involves CEO’s, Managing Directors and Senior Executives from companies big and small including PayPal, Three and Toyota. For 2016, workers are being asked to join the ranks of employees in Facebook and Google who will be staging sleep-ins to raise funds.

Dave Kirwan, Managing Director at Bord Gais Energy commented: “In 2015 Bord Gáis Energy committed to supporting Focus Ireland with a three year partnership aimed at helping to tackle family homelessness. Over the years an increasing number of Irish business leaders have come out in support of Shine a Light and we are happy to be part of that. It is another great opportunity for us and others in the business community to help Focus Ireland put a spotlight on the year-round problem of homelessness in Ireland. Our two offices in Dublin and Cork will be supporting the initiative and I am urging fellow business leaders to join us.”

Shine A Light Night is Focus Ireland’s flagship corporate fundraising initiative. Since 2012 over €1.5 million has been raised to fund services to prevent and combat family homelessness. Over 300 business leaders have taken part in the sleep-out to date and last year over 30 workplaces around the country took part.

The €1.5 million in funds raised to date have been vital to ensure Focus Ireland services have been able to cope with a 43.75% rise in the numbers seeking support since 2012. In 2015 alone, Focus Ireland helped over 12,500 people who were either homeless or at risk (compared to 8,000 in 2012).

Commenting on the initiative, Ashley Balbirnie, CEO of Focus Ireland, said “This appeal comes as the number of families becoming homeless has nearly doubled since last year and one in three of those in emergency accommodation is a child. Focus Ireland is working to end homelessness and we do this every day of the year for at least one family. But, every day we save one family at least two more go through the trauma of losing their family home. We have been overwhelmed by the support business leaders and workers have given us over the years and we are urging as many as possible to get behind Shine a Light Night 2016.”

Learn more about Shine A Light Night, past participants and how to get involved by contacting Aoife Cooney on 01 881 5984 or or visit


For further information:
Focus Ireland
Michelle Moran – 086 468 0442
Roughan McNamara – 086 851 5117

Diarmaid Walsh
Tel: 01 4980300

Focus Ireland frontline services are working hard to support these families and to prevent others from losing their homes in the first place by providing advice and information. Focus Ireland’s work in preventing families from becoming homeless is vital in saving families from the trauma of becoming homeless. The charity is proud to say that 89 cent out of every euro received goes directly towards ending homelessness in Ireland.

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