On Friday December 1, 48 business leaders from Galway’s business community will come together to spend a cold winter’s night on Shop Street with just a sleeping bag and winter coat. They are raising much-needed funds for the local charity’s Homeless Service as they take part in COPE Galway’s 12th annual Business Leaders’ Sleep Out event.
In the lead up to Christmas, COPE Galway is supporting 476 men, women and children in Galway who are availing of Emergency and Transitional Accommodation via the charity’s Homeless Service. This includes 104 families with 208 children, some of whom will be spending their second or third Christmas in emergency accommodation, many in a B&B room.
Sharon Fitzpatrick, Head of Development at COPE Galway, will be joining the Business Leaders on Shop Street.
Speaking about the event, she remarked, “For the past 11 years we have been bringing business leaders together to experience a December night on our streets and to raise awareness and funds for our Homeless Service.
"When the COPE Galway business sleepout started in 2012, those taking part thought that this extra funding would be needed for a couple of years until the homelessness issue in Galway was resolved. With almost 13,000 people homeless in Ireland tonight, clearly, we are a long way from achieving this. On the contrary, the accelerating homelessness crisis means that these funds are needed now more than ever before.”
"Over the past eleven years the Business Leaders’ Sleep Out has raised €1.45m for COPE Galway’s homeless service, supporting the expansion of services and introduction of new initiatives such as community-based housing and outreach support for people sleeping rough. It has also allowed COPE Galway’s Homeless Service to help with some of the essential costs their clients face, such as food and fuel, as well as advocating for those who are homeless and supportingclients moving out of homelessness," she said
Sharon continued, “The Galway community has always been incredibly supportive in getting behind COPE Galway, particularly at this time of year. The homeless crisis is affecting so many individuals and families in our community and the shortage of housing and cost of living increases are being felt on every level. The people of Galway rely heavily on COPE Galway’s services and it is vital for us to be able to continue to support those who need our assistance in 2024. We are very grateful to these Business Leaders who have taken on this challenge, and to everyone in Galway who is supporting them”.
Everybody should have a safe and secure home. To support the Business Leaders, please visithttps://copegalwaysleepout.ie/
In 2022, COPE Galway’s Homeless Service supported 1,217 people, including 136 families with 303 children and 699 single people and couples.
COPE Galway works with individuals and families from Galway City and County to provide homeless supports and accommodation. Services cover the spectrum from prevention, emergency accommodation and transitional accommodation through to resettlement and tenancy support.
COPE Galway is a local Galway organisation whose vision is for a community where every person is valued, cared for and supported at every stage of life. COPE Galway has been delivering essential social services across Galway City and County for over 50 years across its Homeless, Domestic Abuse and Senior Support Services.