Tonight Newbridge holds sleepout to shine light on homeless crisis

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Tonight Newbridge holds sleepout to shine light on homeless crisis
By Louise McCarthy 8:19 Friday 13th of October 2017

Tonight Newbridge will hold a sleepout to highlight the rising homelessness crisis in the county with 200 people now without a home in Co Kildare..

It is estimated that there are about 40 people recorded as sleeping rough in Co Kildare while there are about 200 in emergency accommodation and hostels. 

Housing Action Kildare will be sleeping out tonight  in a bid to shine a light on the current issue of homelessness in Ireland. They are joining groups across Ireland to raise funds to support the vital work of Focus Ireland and their aim to end homelessness in Ireland.

Family homelessness has reached historic proportions with 2,777 children currently living in emergency accommodation in Ireland, often unable to get to school, rarely getting a home cooked meal and sinking into darkness.

Independent Cllr Joanne Pender and Joe Burke, along with up to  eight others, will be  sleeping out, from 7pm this evening until 7am tomorrow, outside Newbridge town hall.  People are being encouraged to donate to Focus Ireland. The event is being held by Housing Action Kildare which provides information to homeless people and all money raised will go directly to Focus Ireland.

This week's budget is doing little to improve the plight of the homeless says Cllr Pender.

She said: "I don't think the budget has done anything for people in dire need. Nobody is talking about the effects this will have on small children, we want people in the community to see that homelessness is a real issue, people don't like to see it, this is why we are doing the sleep out.  I have not done a sleep out for homelessness before, it will be sleeping on concrete, there are people who are always out in these conditions."

The Cllr fears for 'what the winter will bring' for the homeless throughout the county.

She is deeply concerned about the number of people who have come to her who are now at risk of becoming homeless.

Cllr Pender said: "There is an increase in people who are about to become homeless and have nowhere to go, with landlords issuing eviction notices."

She says that there is a real urgency for the construction of more social housing.

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