Over 130 business leaders took part in Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light Night (Fri Oct 12) to raise €1m to help fund the charity’s vital services to combat and prevent homelessness.
The business people had all signed up for last night’s ‘Business Leaders Sleep-Out’ at two Dublin City Centre Locations; the Iveagh Gardens and the Law Society at Blackhall Place, along with Cork’s historic Spike Island. This is the seventh 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 at their workplace to raise vital funds. This great support included Bord Gáis Energy, Google, Cully & Scully, 96 FM and Facebook staff and CEO’s who slept out to raise funds.
Catherine O’Kelly, Managing Director at Bord Gais Energy said: “Shine A Light Night is a 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 are supporting the initiative again this year and it is really great to see the support from so many business leaders and staff nationwide.”
Shine A Light Night is Focus Ireland’s flagship corporate fundraising initiative and since 2012 over €3 million has been raised to fund services to prevent and combat family homelessness. The €3 million in funds raised to date have been vital to ensure Focus Ireland services are there to provide support in this crisis. In 2017 alone, Focus Ireland supported a record 14,500 people who were either homeless or at risk. Sadly the crisis has deepened throughout 2018, in the Dublin Region alone each month an average of 99 families became newly homeless in the first eight months of this year, compared to 81 a month for the same period in 2017.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “We are in the middle of the worst homelessness crisis in living memory as a record total of 9,527 people are homeless nationwide. Last year we supported a record 14,500 people who were homeless or at risk and we now provide over 1,100 homes for people nationwide.”
He added: “The money raised through Shine A Light Night will really help our work challenging homeless and changing lives as we can do more with more resources. Over 50% of our total fundraising income comes through individual/public giving, Focus Ireland has to raise €10 million euro a year to support the men, women and children impacted by this crisis. Shine A Light Night will help us to support more families to secure a home and also to prevent others from becoming homeless in the first place.”
Fittingly, Shine A Light Night 2018, is taking place on the same night as the new Roddy Doyle film, Rosie is being released nationwide. Focus Ireland acted as advisors at key times in the development of this movie with Element Pictures, and Rosie will help to raise awareness of our work, and generate further public support in the midst of this unprecedented crisis.
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