A record total of well over 1,000 people took part in Focus Ireland’s annual Shine A Light Night (Fri Oct 18th) sleep-outs nationwide to raise over €1m to help fund vital services to combat and prevent homelessness.
This year’s event was sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy and the company has supported Focus Ireland since 2015 by committing more than €2.4m to help combat family homelessness.
Over 150 business leaders – & staff from 100 companies – across Ireland were challenged to brave the rainy weather and sleep-out while raising vital funds to help fight homelessness. The sleep-outs were at the Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place and Iveagh Gardens in Dublin, Cork’s historic Spike Island, King’s John Castle, Limerick and also at locations in Wexford and Waterford. This is the eighth year of the flagship Focus Ireland event that sees the business community swap their boardrooms for a night sleeping out. Meanwhile, hundreds of staff in workplaces across Ireland also played their part by holding sleep-outs in their offices.
Speaking at the Law Society of Ireland sleep-out Catherine O’Kelly, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy said: “The current homeless crisis in towns and communities across Ireland is sadly worse than ever. It is heart-breaking that 3,848 children in Ireland today have no home. While the statistics are shocking and the growing numbers of people who are homeless is extremely worrying, we all need to remember that these are real people we’re talking about; real Irish families with children who are suffering every day. This event tonight will directly support the great work of Focus Ireland to help end homelessness for more families and children every day.” Commenting on the corporate support for the event Catherine added: “I’d also like to thank all the business leaders and staff – including our own teams in both Dublin and Cork – who have all helped raise such an amazing sum of money.”
Meanwhile, Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan explained how the event makes a difference as he said: “The money raised through Shine A Light Night really helps our work challenging homeless and changing lives as we can do more with more resources. Last year, we helped 500 families to escape homelessness and move into a home of their own, we also helped 300 families from losing their home. That’s 800 families whose lives have changed forever. They can now wake up on Sunday morning in their own beds and cook breakfast together in their own kitchen. Words can’t explain how amazing that is for these families and Shine A Light Night played a vital part in achieving this. Thank you everyone who took part this year. Their support will help us to make a difference to the lives of many more families.”
Shine A Light Night began in 2012 and the event has raised €4million since then to help fund services to prevent and combat family homelessness. The €4 million in funds raised to date has been vital to ensure Focus Ireland services are there to provide support in this crisis. In 2018 alone, Focus Ireland supported a record total of 15,500 people who were either homeless or at risk. Focus Ireland also provides a place to call home for over 1,100 households in Ireland.
For further information or to donate to Shine A Light Night log onto focusireland.ie.〈 Back to Press Releases