At this time of year, as the weather hardens, our thoughts turn even more than usual to the plight of the homeless and rough sleepers in our community and how they are coping.
On Saturday December 8th 2018, twenty hardy souls will take part in a sponsored sleep out on West Street to highlight the current homeless crisis and to support the work that Drogheda Homeless Aid is doing in alleviating it.
According to DHA manager Maureen Ward, “This is an important event to raise awareness of the existence of homelessness in the county and the need to raise much needed funds to support the work of Drogheda Homeless Aid.
“The image of homelessness that some people have is of a phenomenon confined to Dublin; unfortunately, it is a reality in Drogheda and everywhere else in the country too.
“Organisations such as Drogheda Homeless Aid and other regional organisations are much needed and extremely valuable to those who require our services.
Drogheda Homeless Aid has supported 120 individuals in its emergency accommodation facility in the past year and 33 were assisted in exiting homelessness and are now living independently.
Additionally, DHA provided over 21,500 hot meals last year for residents and for former residents as well as for older people living in the Drogheda area.
They have also increased the number of social houses from five in 2017 to eight in 2018 with the support of Louth County Council, through CAS funding and through local fundraising, helping to house homeless men, women and families from the Local Authority housing list, with an additional 11 people including children leaving emergency accommodation being provided with homes by DHA in the past month alone.
Drogheda Homeless Aid is once again fortunate to have support from of local businesses and Drogheda Chamber of Commerce, with a number signing up for the sleep out to help DHA realise their target of €50,000.
Over the years’ participants have found that the sleep out is a great way to understand the reason behind why they are fundraising: to tackle homelessness.
"The whole experience opened my eyes to what some people go through day in, day out” said Paddy Callaghan of Nature’s Best who participated in the sponsored sleep out in 2017.
“We had a good laugh because we knew it was only for one night, but for those who must sleep out, they have to deal with bad weather, freezing conditions and potential danger.
“The Sleep Out made me aware of how some people are forced to live their life like this and thankfully, we were able to do our bit to help tackle homelessness."
Please watch out for DHA’s collectors on the 8th December and support the 2018 sleep out by giving as generously as in previous years.