Professor Luke O'Neill is encouraging the people of Wicklow to take part in an event to support homeless services.
The Bray native highlighted Depaul’s Sleep Out event on Friday, May 20 in support of the rising number of children, families and single people who are becoming homeless in Ireland.
Professor O’Neill, in collaboration with Depaul, is calling on members of the public and companies across Wicklow to swap their beds for their sleeping bags and brave the weather to help raise much needed funds for homeless services in Ireland.
In Ireland, more than 9,800 people were experiencing homelessness at the end of March including 2,811 were children, 5,143 single adults and 1,238 families registered in emergency accommodation.
Depaul supports and works with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The charity provides more than 600 bed spaces per night across 37 accommodation centres located throughout Ireland.
Professor O’Neill said: “Sadly, the number of homeless people in Ireland has risen significantly by 23 per cent since last year. Even more children, young adults, families and single adults are now without a place to call home. The funds raised through Depaul’s Sleep Out this year will help the growing number of people whose lives are devastated by homelessness.
“Each year, Depaul support thousands of homeless people and helps hundreds to move into their own home, changing lives forever.”
Depaul’s Director of Services and Development Dermot Murphy said taking part in the Sleep Out will make a real difference to the lives of the many people who are homeless in Ireland.
“As a society we must do everything in our power to ensure every man, woman and child in Ireland has a place to call home. There is currently a very large cohort of adults and children in homelessness in Ireland who we really need to focus on to help and to give them the best opportunities.”
“We know from our work that the impact of homelessness can be detrimental to their health and well-being. Support for Depaul’s Sleep Out will provide a lifeline for adults and children who are homeless in Ireland today.”
To register to take part in the Sleep Out or for more information about Depaul’s work, visit depaul.ie