Focus Ireland To Mark 10 Years Challenging Homelessness and Changing Lives In Sligo

Next month Focus Ireland is set to mark ten years of challenging homelessness and changing lives in Sligo through its work providing services and housing in the county since 2007. The milestone comes as the charity reported a 50% rise in the number of people using its services in Sligo last year.

Focus Ireland is now set to hold a special “Stand Up to Homelessness” event on May 5th 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.

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.”

Focus Ireland has teamed up with North West Adventures Tours and all equipment and instructors will be provided for the event. The cost for this is €40.

Mayor of Sligo Municipal District, Cllr. Marie Casserly joined William Brittan from North West Adventure Tours, Focus Ireland staff Mary Jameson (Project Leader), Mark Slee, Rob Connor, Lorraine Kelly and Roisin McLoughlin, Sean O’Reilly (General Manager of the Riverside Hotel) at an event to announce the Stand Up to Homelessness event and call on people to sign up to take part by contacting Focus Ireland Sligo Office on 071- 91 49974/071-91 49970.

Mayor Marie Casserly said: “I am 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% last year, with the majority (172 people) looking for advice or information on accommodation options. Focus Ireland also has 14 apartments in Sligo Town for single people along with accommodation for two families. We also manage 23 apartments on behalf of the local authority, in Sligo Town.

The charity said that it works to tackle and prevent homelessness in Sligo in partnership with Sligo County Council, Social Services and other bodies. Focus Ireland has been one of the key organisations working on the Cranmore Estate regeneration project since 2008. Focus Ireland’s tenancy support services have worked closely with families and people in the estate and this work has had a very positive impact.

Ms. Jameson explained it is now only fitting that the charity marks its 10th anniversary in the county and she added: “This event is to mark the many years of our work here in Sligo and to once again highlight the serious issues surrounding housing and homelessness. We want people to sign up to take part and to “Stand Up to Homelessness” at 11am on May 5th. We will arrive into Sligo Town standing tall on our paddle boards with fellow adventurers after this great challenge.”

Ms. Jameson added: “I think it will be a very powerful image visually and it’s a chance for people to show their support for Focus Ireland and our work by “Standing Up to Homelessness” as people finish the challenge in Sligo Town.”

For more information about the Focus Ireland 10th Anniversary “Stand Up to Homelessness” Paddle Board event please contact Focus Ireland Sligo Office on 071-91 49974/071-91 49970 and email: 

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