Politicians and sports starts turned out this week to help Galway man Paul Fallon launch a 1,000 mile round Ireland run for homelessness.
Taking place during the month of December the ‘1000 Mile Run for Home’ will raise funds for On the Run Again, a 24-week personal development programme which helps homeless people rehabilitate back into society through participation in a tailored running programme.
Pledging their support were John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council FG Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Roscommon TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, and Galway West TDs Brian Walsh (FG ) and Derek Nolan (Labour ).
Beginning in Dublin on December 1, Paul will run an average of 33 miles per day, including Christmas Day, and he will finish in Galway on New Year’s Eve.
Supporting Paul on the run will be politicians, celebrities and local people who will run or walk one mile at one of eight different locations throughout the country including Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Athlone, Sligo and Castlebar. Paul hopes to have 1,000 people sign up to run or walk a mile and for each person to commit to raise a minimum of €100.
“The 1000 Mile Run for Home aims to raise a minimum of €100,000, which we hope will go a long way to keeping people off the streets by enlisting them in the On the Road Programme,” he says.
“We are currently piloting the programme in Galway and the results are very positive. The cost for one person to be included in the ‘On The Road Again’ programme for 24 weeks is approximately €1,250. This is a fraction of what it costs Ireland to tackle this problem which is estimated at between €24, 000 and €27,000 per person.”
A non-profit organisation, On the Road Again was established in January 2011. At the moment, it is working with the five registered charities in Galway, Cope Galway, Galway Diocesan Youth Services, Galway Simon, Jigsaw, and Saint Vincent De Paul.