Friday, 15th December 2017
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Focus Ireland is calling on the people of Waterford to give one night to change a life and take part in the Big Deise Sleep Out which will take place on Friday December 1 st at the Edmund Rice Centre.

This is the 2 nd year the event has been organised by Focus Ireland in Waterford, to highlight the issue of homelessness, and to raise vital funds in support of the ever increasing number families, children and young people who will be homeless this winter.

Speaking about the event, Rebecca Reynolds, National Fundraising Initiatives Manager at Focus Ireland said: "The homeless crisis gets worse and worse every year and for the first time this Christmas we will have over 3000 children who are homeless in Ireland and well over 8000 people who are homeless nationwide. The two groups most impacted by homelessness now are children and young people; with growth in homelessness amongst these groups at unprecedented levels. Shockingly the largest group of people amongst those who are homeless are 0-4 years old, whilst youth homelessness has nearly doubled since 2014. This is directly due to the housing shortage and lack of affordable accommodation. We are thrilled to have the support of Waterford Olympic Athlete Thomas Barr and the Waterford Chamber of Commerce again this year, with CEO Gerald Hurley taking part. We are asking Waterford businesses and communities to come on board, show solidarity and raise funds for those that need them and be part of the Big Deise Sleep Out". Speaking about his involvement in the event Thomas Barr said: "I am delighted to be taking part (in the Focus Ireland Big Deise Sleep Out) again this year. Whilst most of us are lucky enough to have safe, warm, comfortable homes, homelessness for young people aged between 18 – 24 is at crisis point, up 93% in just three years since 2014. If I can prevent more teenagers and young people from experiencing homelessness by taking part in the Big Deise Sleep Out and encouraging others to take part then I am delighted to do so. I'm appealing to everyone to join me and to sleep out on the 1st of December. Focus Ireland has provided homeless services in Waterford for the last 17 years and the city is now the charity's largest centre outside of Dublin. Over 300 people access our Waterford Services every month with over 20 families including 27 children under 12 currently living in emergency accommodation in the city. 89c of every euro received goes to frontline services. The Big Deise Sleep Out will take place in the Edmund Rice Centre 9:30p.m on

Friday December 1st. If you would like to take part and help raise vital funds and awareness for Focus Ireland this

Christmas please contact Cathryn O'Leary by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 086 042854 for more information.

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