Galway community comes together in support of those experiencing homelessness

Local charity Galway Simon Community have been overwhelmed by the widespread level of support shown by everyone involved in their annual ‘Sleep Out for Simon’ event which took place on Friday 6th October on Shop Street and at Corinthians R.F.C.

The event was organised in an effort to raise awareness of the current homeless crisis, to highlight the need for urgent action and to raise funds to cover essential health and well-being costs for clients supported by Galway Simon’s services.

The charity would like to extend a special thanks to participants who completed the challenge to experience in a small way what many others face on daily basis. They would also like to thank all of the local businesses who got involved, including those who took part and those that donated food, funds and other resources for the event.

Overall, the participants described the experience as both ‘humbling’ and ‘emotional’.

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Orla Savage, a Shop Street participant said

“it was probably the most unexpected, awakening experience I’ve ever had. I did this because I wanted to raise awareness of homelessness, and I think as a person that isn’t affected by it, you have a certain perception, but when you sleep out and you only get a small glimpse of what they experience every day, it’s so emotional. I think it’s changed me as a person, to understand what they go through every day.”

Eimear Hynes who took part for the second year in a row, commented that

“it’s unacceptable in this day and age that thousands of people have nowhere to call home”, going on to say “the experience for me was really humbling and but at the same time it made me really angry, more needs to be done by the Government.”

Whilst Sinead Moran, explained her experience as an ‘eye-opener’, saying that

“the thing that’s sticking out for me is the fact that it’s actually not possible to sleep”.

Sinead went on to highlight the fact that there’s so much research linking lack of sleep with mental health issues and how people can end up relying on short term sources of comfort to alleviate the loneliness and sleep deprivation.

100% of proceeds of this year’s Sleep Out event will be used towards the shortfall in funding of Galway Simon’s health & well-being services which provide their clients with specialist support in areas including physical and mental health, addiction, relapse prevention, life skills and access to training, education and employment. It’s not too late to support this fundraising initiative, anyone interested in making a donation can do so on www.galwaysimon.ie.

Images by Matheus Munoz: Participants of Sleep Out for Simon which took place on Shop Street/Corinthians RFC.

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