Men and women from across Galway’s business community will take part in COPE Galway’s biggest fundraising event of the year tomorrow night, Friday 6 December.
Twenty-eight people will take participate in the Galway Business Sleep Out to raise awareness and essential funds for the organisation’s Homeless Services.
COPE Galway is accommodating more people than ever before through its Homeless Services for men, women and children in Galway.
The local organisation’s most recent quarterly one-day census has detailed that there were 510 people – 263 adults and 247 children – in emergency and transitional accommodation provided by the organisation on the night of 20 November 2019.
In addition to this, the organisation identified 24 people sleeping rough in Galway City on the same night.
Martin O’Connor, Assistant CEO at COPE Galway said, “The plight of the growing numbers of single people living in emergency accommodation for extended periods of time and sleeping rough is very concerning.
“Housing suitable for single people is in very short supply at a local level here in Galway and this is impacting negatively on the lives of so many men and women we are working with and supporting.”
Funds raised through the Business Sleep Out will help address these needs. COPE Galway continues to rely on the generosity of the Galway people to help them help those in our community in most need of assistance and who rely on their service.
COPE Galway’s annual Business Sleep Out is now in its eighth year.
There is an obvious frustration in the community that the problem of homelessness is not going away and that the funds for services are needed more than ever.
Founding participant, Hannah Kiely said in advance of Friday’s fundraising event: “It makes me angry that we are still doing the Business Sleep Out eight years after it was first set up.
“The homeless situation hasn’t changed in Ireland and we have no choice but to keep going. We are always so encouraged by the support of the Galway Business Leaders and wider community, year after year.”
First-time participant, Joseph Joyce, Solutions Engineer at SmartBear, said: “Homelessness is a serious social issue in Ireland at the moment.
“I work in Galway city – seeing many people sleeping on the streets is something I notice every day. It’s easy to feel helpless faced with such a huge problem.
“I wanted to do something to advocate for people who are homeless and to help with funding in a small way. Taking part in the Business Sleep Out for COPE Galway is one way for me to contribute.”
Another full-time participant, Peter Fergus, Hotel Manager of The Lodge at Ashford Castle, said: “The idea of having a safe warm home is very important – something that we can take for granted. I know that staying out on the street for one night is not what it is like to be homeless, where you face the cold every night, but I felt I had to do something to play my part in tackling homelessness in Galway.
We have a strong economy at the moment with very low unemployment so there shouldn’t be people without a home to call their own in Galway.
“I’ve become very aware of the work that COPE Galway does over the past year and wanted to do something to support their work and to help others.”