Street Angels Homeless Charity has organised a sleep out to raise awareness of the homeless crisis in Ireland.
The Sleep Out will take place on November 11th, and the participants will be outside Debenhams on O’ Connell Street from 10pm until 4am.
‘We want to raise awareness that these people are doing this 7 days a week 365 days a year. They are humans and our government should be doing a lot more to help them,’ Hazel Dennehy, Founder of Street Angels said.
Social distancing will be adhered to in line with Government restrictions.
Hazel Dennehy said “We have 12 volunteers for the sleep out already – the volunteers in Limerick have sponsor cards, and we are trying to raise money.”
“We had three permits this year to do fundraising but because of Covid, we couldn’t do it, just like every other charity. We are funding out of our own pockets at the moment because we have been unable to raise money, but at the end of the day we want to look after them.’
Street Angels is a charity based in Cork, but recently made the move to include Limerick.
Mrs. Dennehy and her volunteers gather clothes, sleeping bags, food parcels, and hot food and distribute them to the homeless community in Limerick city every second Wednesday.
On Wednesday, October 29th, Ross Rainsford from R&B Barbers also came down to cut their hair, “they were over the moon,” Hazel said.
Street Angels handed out 73 hot meals to the homeless community in Limerick on this night.
“Even if you never gave them food, all they want is for you to sit down and chat with them, to treat them as you would wish to be treated, with respect,” Hazel noted.
“It’s 2020, nobody in this country should be homeless, there are enough empty buildings. Noone should be homeless in this day and age.”
Homelessness is a problem that we witness every day on the city streets around Ireland and the figures show that this is a worsening issue.
Latest figures from Focus Ireland show that there are 8,656 people currently homeless in Ireland and are relying on emergency accommodation.
Hazel’s outlook is that education is the only way to help people to leave a life on the streets, “A step down is a step out” she said.
“My long-term goal is to give them a purpose and show them that there is more to life than the streets. I want to set up a place where you can train them, get them work experience, and reintegrate them into society.”
“If you can even help 1/100 it makes all the difference.”