Mid West Simon Community in partnership with The Clare Champion, Limerick Leader and Tipperary Star are delighted to invite you to be a part of the ‘Moving on Together’, Sleep Out Challenge 2014.
The event takes place from 8pm to 6am in Cusack Park, Ennis, and GAA Grounds, Kilrush on September 26; and the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, and Semple Stadium on October 3.
In response to an unprecedented demand on the resources of the Mid West Simon Community, the challenge aims to raise €100k to be used in the region to provide support to families at risk of or who have lost their home.
Simon has recorded up to 25% increase in demand for services this year and everyday this number grows’. Most recent available statistics  from homeless services in the Mid West Region shows that 2219 people presented to homeless services in Clare, Limerick city and county and North Tipperary; 628 of these were children.
The increase in demand for our services has resulted from what could be considered a “perfect storm” in the housing crisis in Ireland. The lack of affordable rented accommodation, the lack of social housing, high unemployment rates, low rent allowance limits and eviction from owner occupier and tenants of buy-to-lets is resulting in a large number of people entering homelessness. The Simon Community has recorded up to 25% increase in demand for services and everyday this number grows’.
The Sleep Out Challenge fundraising event is focusing on the “hidden homeless”, who do not live on the street, but instead live by moving from friend to friend, relative to relative, never having a place to call home. This image may not fit the stereotype that we have in our minds but every community has a homeless person even if they are not on the street, they could be closer than you think.
Falling into mortgage arrears is a very real threat to many, so many are continuing on with their lives, hiding their worries and trying to struggle on. The anxiety of trying to live a normal life without a place to call home can affect people’s sense of self-worth and cause dramatic stress to their lives. Those without a place to call home are amongst the most vulnerable and forgotten in our community.
There are so many individuals and families who are just one crisis away from becoming homeless or at risk of homelessness Mid West Simon Community are there for those in need of help.
Speaking at the launch, Irene Hamilton of Iconic Newspapers said: “These days, being homeless is more than not having a roof over your head or sleeping rough. A greater number of people and families are staying in emergency accommodation like B&Bs, hostels, staying in squats or with family and friends as they have nowhere else to go. They are the victims of Ireland’s property crash, and they alone must pick up the pieces.
“Ireland’s new homeless now have a very different face and they are at the heart of our communities. They live along side us, work in our offices and yet, many go on silently carrying this pressure alone. As local newspapers, our focus is that we remain at the heart of the communities we serve in Limerick, Tipperary and Clare and to support these local communities.
“The central Bank shows that the number of mortgage accounts for principal dwelling houses (PDH – so not including investment properties) in arrears during the third quarter 2013 was 141,520 (18.4% of total lending). Of those, 99,189 PDH mortgage accounts were in arrears of over 90 days at end-September 2013, an increase of 1,315 on the previous quarter. More needs to be done to increase awareness for this growing problem.
“The Limerick Leader, Tipperary Star and Clare Champion are proud to partner with the Mid West Simon Community on this pilot project and help create awareness for all those families, who, through no fault of their own are at risk or have lost their home and are desperately trying to piece their lives back together. It’s by working together as organisations and supporting each other that we show true community spirit and we all Move on Together,” she said.
If you would like to join us for this worthy cause, please call on 061-608980.