Focus Ireland: numbers assisted rose by 11 per cent during 2018

Charity makes urgent Christmas appeal to fund services and housing

Focus Ireland has made an urgent Christmas appeal for donations

Focus Ireland has made an urgent Christmas appeal for donations

 

The number of people helped by Focus Ireland jumped by 11 per cent between January and the end of last month compared to the similar period last year.

The charity said it had assisted some 15,000 people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home in the first 11 months of the year, up from 13,500 in the same period in 2017.

The charity provides services across the State including in Cork, Dublin. Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford. It has made an urgent Christmas appeal for donations so it can cope with the constant rise in demand for its services.

Focus Ireland said although it receives State funding it needs also to raise at least 50 per cent of its annual budget to keep its services and housing running. It said 89 cent of every euro it receives is spent in the fight against homelessness.

To date this year Focus Ireland has helped over 350 families out of homelessness and provided homes for 1,200 households around the country who were previously homeless or at risk.

The charity’s services manager, John O’Haire, noted the great work done at the charity’s flagship Coffee Shop & Advice Centre in Dublin’s Temple Bar which has served 40,000 meals this year and helped over 7,000 people.

“We really do depend on donations now more than ever so our services are here to help people and can cope with the constantly rising demand,” he said.

Speaking about the impact of being homeless on children Mr O’Haire said “it really is heartbreaking to know that some of these children have been born into homelessness.”

He said: “We have a duty to protect the childhoods of these children and to make sure they do not suffer from being homeless for long periods of time.”

People can donate at focusireland.ie or by phoning 1850 204 205.