Special Reports
A special report is content that is edited and produced by the special reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report but do not have editorial control.

Focus Ireland: Raising money for vulnerable children living in temporary situations

Donations will count more than ever this year as so many children and families are in emergency accommodation, says the homeless charity

Not surprisingly, Focus Ireland is in full fundraising mode at present. The latest homelessness figures from October 2022 reveal there were 10,975 people homeless, including 7,633 homeless adults and 3,342 children and 1,532 families.

Focus Ireland communications officer Conor Culkin says donations will count more than ever this year as so many children and families are in emergency accommodation. “In light of the cost-of-living crisis, vital fundraising monies will go into our services throughout the country particularly in the area of families seeking help. We are seeing a large proportion of families and children living in emergency accommodation and many are the invisible homeless too.”

According to Amy Carr, director of fundraising at Focus, the Born into Homelessness appeal is more critical than ever due to the escalating family homelessness numbers. “Having the level of support from the public to raise essential funds to ensure we can be there for families in crisis, and ensure they are empowered to exit homelessness for good, and as quickly as possible can only happen when the general public donate throughout the year but especially at Christmas.

“Almost 40 per cent of our income comes in over the festive period, it is a critical time for Focus Ireland, and we greatly appreciate the support. With children now being born into homelessness, never knowing what it is like to have a home of their own, we want to ensure that experience is ended as quickly as possible for families across Ireland.”


She says activities that bring the office and team together to raise funds while having fun are some of the best ways to do good at Christmas. “For many companies, Christmas Jumper Day is an established date in the diary but for those who have never taken part it is a simple, engaging and fun activity to raise vital funds for those experiencing homelessness. Many companies use it as an opportunity to start the Christmas season in the office,” she says.

The Shine A Light Night appeal, supported by Bord Gáis Energy, is a particularly effective fundraiser. Members of the public sleep out under the stars in solidarity with the homeless who have to do it every night of the week. Now in its 10th year, the event raises an average €1.5 million to go towards vital services and assists sustainable long-term solutions to homelessness in Ireland.

“Unfortunately, due to the increase in families left homeless – we have a situation where children will be spending Christmas in emergency accommodation,” adds Culkin. “So, all our fundraising initiatives this Christmas will raise money for vulnerable children living in temporary situations.”