The Galway Simon Community is inviting the people of Galway to join them in marking 40 years of the fight against homelessness later this month.
Galway Simon is putting out the invite for any past and present clients, volunteers, staff and supporters of the organisation to join them at the Ardilaun Hotel on October 17 for an evening of storytelling, music and art.
The homelessness charity was founded in 1979 by local students who felt compelled to do something about the burgeoning crisis of homelessness in Galway at the time.
Since then it has grown to become one of the largest homeless service providers in the west of Ireland.
Those founders will be joined by some of the original volunteers on the night, with contributions from the Galway Simon Music Project, local historian Tom Kenny, poet Mary O’Malley and author Ken O’Sullivan, in addition to other supporters, staff members, volunteers and clients of the organisation.
Denis Connolly, well-known Galwegian, was one of the original clients of the Galway Simon Community back in the late 70s.
In those days, he reminisced, its volunteer were the only people in his corner and they endured harsh conditions alongside him and others in his position.
“The Simon here in Galway used to bring me soup and sandwiches. They were the only friends I had back then.”
“The workers used to sleep the same as we did on the floor in the house for homeless. It was a tough job for them and it was no easy place to be”, Denis said.
Speaking about the event, Karen Golden CEO of Galway Simon Community, noted the contribution the local community has made to the organisation and welcomes all to join on the evening.
“As we mark the 40th Anniversary of Galway Simon, we reflect on the enormous support we have always received from the wider community.”
“We are delighted to invite past and present clients, volunteers, staff and supporters to join us for our 40th anniversary event.”
“The support of our community has been vital in helping the most vulnerable in Galway to turn their lives around, to live with dignity and ultimately to close their own door on homelessness”, Karen said.
The event is free but pre-registration is required. Visit www.galwaysimon.ie to reserve your place to join Galway Simon and friends in marking 40 years.
image: Murt Fahy