Focus Ireland Launches Christmas Campaign
Sr. Stan launched Focus Ireland’s Christmas appeal today with a hard-hitting campaign that highlights a record number of over 2,400 children and nearly 1200 families are homeless nationwide.
The new campaign makes an urgent appeal to people to donate to support Focus Ireland’s work challenging homelessness. The campaign features TV, radio and outdoor ads and runs over the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. The outdoor ad features a mother and her child alongside the stark line: “Homelessness. We can’t live like this anymore.”
Focus Ireland launched the campaign outside Government Buildings in Dublin with an admobile featuring the charity’s new poster. Sr. Stan spoke passionately of the terrible impact being homeless has on children – and families – as she said: “Christmas should be one of the happiest times of year for children and their families. However, it breaks my heart to think that up to 2,500 children will be homeless on Christmas day this year.”
She added: “I know from meeting families who are homeless that we support it’s the children who feel it the worst. Many times a family who are homeless are often squeezed into one hotel room – 3 or 4 people in one room, nowhere to cook or for children to play. There are also 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 people as Focus Ireland reported that its family team services have supported 230 families and just under 450 children in Dublin to secure a home and escape from the trauma of homelessness in the first 10 months of this year * ( * In partnership with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and local authorities) The charity also supports hundreds of families who are still homeless and living in hotels and b&bs.
One mother Gillian who was homeless but has now secured a home with support of Focus Ireland said: “When you have a home you don’t realise how lucky you are…. my daughter was only two weeks old when we became homeless, I don’t think I’d even be here now if it wasn’t for Focus Ireland, I wake up every day now and think ‘I have a home,”
Sr. Stan said: “We are working hard to support these families every day and not just at Christmas but we depend on donations at this time of year more than ever to raise vital funds so our services can cope with the rising demand. I am asking people to please give what they can afford to support our urgent Christmas appeal. Any donation will help us to directly support these families and also help fund our work to prevent other families and single people from becoming homeless in the first place. People can donate at focusireland.ie or 1850 204 205.”
The charity said this Christmas will be a very challenging time as demand for its services continues to rise following the charity’s busiest year ever last year as it supported over 12,500 people who were homeless or at risk. Focus Ireland stressed that every euro donated counts in the battle against homelessness as 89 cents of every euro received by the charity goes directly to services to support people who are homeless and those at risk.
Focus Ireland said its new campaign aims to keep homelessness firmly on the public and political agenda in the countdown to Christmas. The charity works to support over 12,500 people each year and aims to provide 600 more homes by 2019 to help tackle the growing homeless crisis. Focus Ireland aims to deliver 150 homes a year over the next four years – to double its current housing stock.