Photo: Gerard McCarthy Photography
The spectacular Cork Harbour setting, Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction last year, is supporting Focus Ireland’s fight against homelessness on October 12, and the people of Cork can take part too.
Shine A Light Night 2018 is a little over two months way, and Focus Ireland is calling on the business community of Cork to come together for one night to help raise €1 million to reach more families, who need their help, more than ever before. By sleeping out for one night, you can help change the life of a man, woman or child experiencing homelessness locally.
From Kennedy Pier in Cobh, Cork Shine a Light Night participants will be transported off to the isolated Spike Island. The event is backed by Cork County Council. John Crotty, Manager of Spike Island, is full of enthusiasm for the event.
“We are delighted to support this wonderful and worthwhile event for Focus Ireland on our historic Spike Island. The wonderful history that we have here on the island makes Spike a great location to partner with Focus Island. I feel that our location lends itself to highlighting just how isolating life can be for people who are homeless or in danger of falling into homelessness. Shine a Light 2018 will raise awareness of the reality that homelessness is increasingly prevalent, with one in three experiencing homelessness a child.”
Focus Ireland Cork manager Ger Spillane said: “Focus Ireland is a national organisation based here in Cork since 2007. Our twin objectives are prevention and sustained exits. Almost 10,000 people are currently homeless. We have seen a 32% increase in family homelessness and a 98% increase in youth homelessness, with one in three accessing our services a child.”
Mr Spillane added: “From our South Mall office, our dedicated Focus Ireland colleagues work with 124 people on a monthly basis offering a variety of services, including advice and information, tenancy resettlement and youth services. We provide 38 homes locally and the plan is to treble this by 2019. With 317 people homeless each night in Cork City alone, our work locally is challenging, but are committed to find solutions, and stable, long-term accommodation for local people and families. To do this we need the continued backing of Cork people, who have already been hugely supportive. Crucially 89 cent of every €1 we spend goes directly back into the services we deliver.”
The 2017 Shine a Light Night received huge support from the local community, it allowed Focus Ireland to provide a range of housing, educational support and advice and information services.
Some key Focus Ireland Cork achievements in 2017 included:
- Focus Ireland supported 191 men and women with advice and information services locally in Cork in 2017.
- The organisation now provides 180 homes for men, women and children across the South-West and Mid-West of the country.
- Seven young people who have progressed from Focus Ireland Youth Education programmes in Cork will commence third level at UCC and CIT next month.
There are three ways to take part in Shine a Light Night 2018.
- The Business Leaders event is being held on Spike Island on Friday, October 12.
- You can also get your team together and organise Shine a Light at Work by hosting a workplace Sleep Out, to raise awareness and generate funds for essential local Focus Ireland services.
- Shine a Light in the Community gives the option to the wider community to organise an event in your local park, club, town or village.
Shine a Light Night is a fully supported Focus Ireland event. All participants will receive fundraising support, materials and advice. To register today or for further information please contact Dick White (firstname.lastname@example.org or 086 822 3690), or register on Focusireland.ie/shinealight.