Putting the focus on 163 homeless children

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Aoife Sheehan, Focus Ireland's Limerick fundraising and marketing manager. Photo: Liam Burke

IN THE week before Christmas, there are 88 families with 163 children homeless in Limerick and Clare.

That is the shocking reality reported by Focus Ireland this week.

The charity has launched an urgent appeal for donations to help support its work with people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

In a statement to the Limerick Post it says it is “shocking that a record total of 10,514 people are now homeless and that nearly 4,000 are children.”

Aoife Sheehan, fundraising and marketing executive for Focus Ireland in Limerick said “It is wrong that any family or individual has to suffer the trauma caused by losing their home. At Focus Ireland, we are working hard to provide essential services and housing across Limerick so we are there when people need us the most. This work wouldn’t be possible without public support.

People in Limerick have been very generous in the lead up to Christmas, with many companies and members of the public participating in the Christmas Jumper day and hosting events in aid of Focus Ireland.

“The current situation would be even worse without the vital services and housing Focus Ireland provide. This means we really need public support now more than ever so we can be there when people need help the most,” she said.

As of last October, Focus Ireland in Limerick is working with and proving support to 20 people in its short-term accommodation units.

The charity also operates a Prison In Reach service that is currently proving support to 18 people.

Focus Ireland provide specific youth support for 21 young people in Limerick, as well as providing housing for 11 of these young people.

The charity also run an Advice and Information service through its Limerick office that assists people who are currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.

Focus Ireland Life President and Founder Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy said “It is shocking and appalling that we are now seeing babies being born into homelessness. Babies are growing up in tiny hotel rooms where they don’t even have enough room to learn how to crawl properly.”

Focus Ireland stressed that 89 cents of every euro received by the charity goes directly to services to support people who are homeless and those at risk.

To donate, log on to www.focusireland.ie or Ph: 1850 204 205