Homeless charity Galway Simon Community are calling on the local community to show solidarity with those experiencing or at risk of homelessness by sleeping out on Friday 6 October.
Last year’s Sleep Out for Simon event saw more than 70 individuals swapping their beds for sleeping bags across the City and County in an effort to highlight the extent of the homeless crisis, while raising much needed funds for local services. This year, the Sleep Out aims to raise €30,000 to fund health and well-being costs for up to 300 clients supported by Galway Simon’s services.
Amy Lavelle, Community Fundraiser at Galway Simon explained the importance of this funding for the organisation.
“Providing homeless services is much more than just putting a roof over someone’s head. The investment in health-related supports is a vital contributor in helping people turn their lives round. There are a multitude of complex issues that can result in someone becoming homeless such as poor physical or mental health, traumatic life events, and lack of supportive networks. By addressing underlying risk factors and putting the right supports in place, someone facing such challenges can make a lasting progression out of homelessness to lead an independent life in our community.”
Patrick (name has been changed), a client of Galway Simon, shared his experience of the health and well-being services provided by Galway Simon. “There were some events and situations in my own life that happened and caused mental health problems. I lost everything at the time but since I got mental health treatment, I’ve got my life back in order again,” he explained.
“It’s not just about Simon saying ‘you don’t have a home and we’re here to help you’, it’s also the other services that Simon provides for you, like counselling or therapy, and if you want to do a course in education or something, they are there to help you with that. They help you with your physical fitness and your mental health.”
Galway Simon’s Health and Well-Being Team are dedicated to providing all clients with specialist support in areas including physical and mental health, addiction, relapse prevention, life skills and access to training, education and employment.
100 per cent of funds raised through this year’s Sleep Out event will be used towards the shortfall in funding for these services, specifically covering essential counselling, chiropody and dental treatments, as well as the development of a garden allotment project to promote mental health and meaningful use of time.
You can make a real difference in real people’s lives by joining one of Galway Simon’s planned sleep-outs on Shop Street or Corinthians RFC, or by getting a group together to host your own sleep-out event. For more information or to register for the Sleep Out, visit www.galwaysimon.ie or call Amy on 091-381828.