How to support #ShineALightNight and raise money for Ireland's homeless families

Tonight's Shine a Light event will support almost 9000 homeless people across the country


As we move into winter, it marks a particularly difficult time of year for the country's homeless. Cold and wet weather means that many of the country's homeless services will be put under even more pressure to keep people safe, and while Covid-19 remains an issue, many crucial resources cannot operate as normal.

As of August this year, there are currently 8,702 homeless people across Ireland. In August, there were 1,120 families accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland, which includes 2,620 children.

This year, Focus Ireland is calling on people across the country to support homeless people by taking part in their Shine a Light Night. Tonight (16th October), thousands of business leaders, companies and people will show their support by sleeping outside to raise funds for the charity. Focus is asking people to sleep out safely in their gardens or workplaces and raise money from sponsorship from others willing to help.

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Focus Ireland has reported a 49% increase in demand for their services since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity has moved 519 families and 1,119 children out of homelessness nationwide since the national public health emergency in March.

It's not too late to show your support for the country's homeless. Here are a couple of ways to help:

  1. You can still register to take part in the sleep-out tonight. Simply head to their website and enter your details to create your own fundraising page. Since it's last-minute, it may be difficult to raise a large amount of money, but every little helps. Social distancing is still a big factor, and Focus Ireland is encouraging everyone who takes part to share their experiences through the hashtag #ShineALightNight.
  2. You can head to Focus Ireland's website to donate directly.
  3. Have a look on Twitter and Instagram with the #ShineALightNight hashtag to see who's taking part, and to support them through their own individual donation links.
  4. Many local businesses around the country are showing their support in new and novel ways - one tattoo parlour in Cork will be donating all proceeds from tattoos done today to Focus Ireland. Have a look around your local area to see which businesses are taking part, and show them support if you can.

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