Ahead of the Drogheda Homeless Aid Sleep Out which takes place on the night of December3/4, Kelly Kierans and Rachael Thompson get a taste of how it feels to bed down in a shop doorway. Photo: Andy Spearman.
As I watched the Late Late Toy show last night I couldn’t help but feel how lucky I am – sitting beside a nice cosy fire in a comfortable house, sipping a glass (or two) of vino.
And then I began to think of other people in this country, and this town, who are not so lucky and must either sleep on a friends couch or are flitting from one temporary home after another. For some, home is a tent in the local park or a sleeping bag in a shop doorway.
These thoughts were perhaps triggered by the fact that earlier yesterday I was in West Street where Drogheda Homeless Aid, which was established back in 1982 by Sr. Cait Fitzgerald to cater for the needs of homeless people in the town, were launching their Christmas Sleep Out fundraiser event.
This important event is designed to raise awareness of the homelessness in the Drogheda area county but also, and especially this year, to raise badly needed funds to support the work of Drogheda Homeless Aid (DHA).
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Like most charities, DHA was badly hit by the Covid pandemic because many of its major fundraising events, such as the ever popular Lenten Lunches and thegolf classic, could not take place.
So, this year’s Sleep Out is probably the most important ever and they are appealing for your support.
You can make a donation online now – click HERE or scan the QR code below which is also available on stickers through the town in shop windows. Volunteers are also needed to rattle collection boxes on the night.
Participants in the Sleep Out will spend the night of December 3rd to 4th in and around West Street, probably not sleeping but definitely collecting funds for the charity whose services include:
St Joseph's Hostel at North strand, Drogheda caters for 25 residents at any one time but DHA is also a housing body with their own housing stock that clients can avail of as they prepare for independent living.
A participant in a previous Sleep Out said of his experience: "The whole experience opened my eyes to what some people go through day in, day out.
“We had a good laugh because we knew it was only for one night, but it is different for those who must sleep out, they have to deal with bad weather, freezing conditions and potential danger.
“The Sleep Out made me aware of how some people are forced to live their life like this and thankfully, we were able to do our bit to help tackle homelessness."
For more information about Drogheda Homeless Aid see: www.dha.ie