Mid West Simon (MWS) held its third annual Sleep-Out in aid of the homeless in Thomond Park on October 20, in efforts to raise funds and awareness for the organisation.
According to MWS: “Sleep-Out participants joined the MWS team in the press room in Thomond Park for a talk on homeless services, followed by a kicking competition on the pitch and walk-through of the museum.”
“The group then spent the night in the tunnel in solidarity with those who are homeless in the Mid West region.”
According to Mike, who took part in the Sleep-Out: “This is my first time doing it and I am really looking forward to the night.”
“It is a great initiative and I hope it continues.”
In comparison to the last year’s event, the Sleep-Out has gained momentum and more and more volunteers have started turning up every year.
According to Damian, also a volunteer at the event: “For us all to be here at this hour of the night, be it on the pitch or in the locker rooms, we’re all here with a common goal: to bring to light the ordeals of the homeless.”
“This is also to highlight that work that Mid West Simon do,” he further added.
MWS have an overall goal of raising €42k towards the running of their Family Hub and Housing First service.
According to a MWS representative: “While we did not hit the target of €42k on the night, the event will launch the start of our Christmas fundraising campaign, where we will continue our efforts to hit our target.”
Since opening its doors last October, the Family Hub has re-homed fourteen families into secure accommodation, with 100% success rate for tenancy retention.
Each family is provided with a resettlement worker to support them into permanent accommodation.
“The family hub also offers a range of supports to the children and adults housed, to empower them to live independently but also to try and minimise the traumatic impact of being homeless,” says MWS.
Classes provided include healthy cooking, budgeting, art, sports and CV workshops. MWS are also thrilled to be the recipient of a sensory wall which was funded by the national lottery through the Health Service Executive.
“This will be a huge benefit to children in the hub on the autistic spectrum” added MWS.
Their Housing First service works with people who have been in long-term homelessness and offers intensive supports.
MWS says: “The MSW team has considerable expertise in the areas of mental health and substance misuse and the service also offers intensive supports to clients engaging in back to education.
According to MWS Fundraising Coordinator Jade Quinn: “We are so grateful to all the participants and everyone who made the night a success, thank you once again to Thomond Park for allowing us to use the facilities.”
“Homelessness reflects a form of social injustice and the efforts of this group will go some way to supporting vulnerable families and individuals in the Mid West.”
If you are looking for more information or wish to donate, more information on these can be found on their website.