UCD SVP Launch Annual Homeless Week
Next Week, viagra on Monday November 13th, tadalafil will see the UCD St. Vincent de Paul society’s annual homeless week launched by Alice Healy, director of TRUST. The week-long campaign is aimed at raising awareness of homelessness in Irish society amongst students, as well as raising funds for UCD SVP’s homeless services.
In its fifth year, the week will see students participate in a nightly ‘sleep-out’ outside the James Joyce Library in UCD from Monday night through to Friday morning. In addition to the sleep-out, UCD SVP have organised numerous fundraising and awareness events to be held throughout the week, including debates, awareness talks, a Father Ted marathon and a ‘Battle of the Buskers’.
UCD SVP Auditior Brian Bolger believes that student involvement is key for the success of the week, saying, “I think it’s vitally important that students get involved in Homeless Week. In the short future, it will be our generation that will be in power, we will be the ones making the decisions on how to tackle homelessness…By sleeping out for one of the nights, you’ll be helping to raise awareness of homelessness by showing that students are not all [apathetic], that we are actively engaged and interested in the serious issues that face society. Even by donating a euro or two, students will be helping to fund our soup runs which cost over €4,000 a year to run.”
With proposed cuts being made for the upcoming government budget, Bolger believes that the most vulnerable will be hit hardest, stating, “The Fine Gael/Labour coalition can go on about how the cuts will affect everybody and how everyone will bear the brunt of the cuts, but that’s just nonsense and they know it. Those struggling now, many who are relying heavily on social welfare, will be hit again; they’ve been targeted in the past number of budgets and come December, they are going to be hit hard once more… the cuts will definitely lead to an increase in the number of people that will be vulnerable to becoming homeless.”
“Figures in the past year have shown that the number of homeless people is increasing. Focus Ireland has experienced an 18% increase in the number of people that they are helping while the Simon Community has found a 25% increase in the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin. The upcoming budget cuts will again hit those who are struggling and lead to an increase in those that will be vulnerable to becoming homeless,” he continued.
Bolger believes that change is needed with regards to the perception and understanding of homelessness, stating, “Those that are homeless in Ireland are often branded as ‘junkies’ or ‘wasters’, and while addiction is certainly a huge problem for many people that are homeless, it is not the sole reason as to why they find themselves living on the streets. Dublin Simon Community found that 67% of people that are homeless suffer from some sort of mental illness while there are also family, relationship, sexual orientation and financial factors that can play a part in someone becoming homeless. I believe that society, and not only students, need to better understand why homelessness is such a problem in Ireland today and through Homeless Week, we hope to promote a better understanding of homelessness.”
By Stephen West