A group of past and present GAA players have thrown their weight and time to highlight and support an All Ireland initiative to highlight the plight of homelessness in Ireland in 2017.
‘Gaelic Voices for Change’ are a voluntary group of past and present inter-county GAA players who, supported by the GPA and WGPA, have come together to shines a light on important social issues, and their initial focus is on the escalating housing and homeless crisis.
On December 16th, they are sleeping-out in Belfast City Centre, while others sleep-out in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Waterford, Carlow, Naas, Portlaoise, Sligo, and Wexford. Their aim is to generate solidarity, funds, awareness, and action. All funds raised will be shared between Simon Community NI and Welcome Organisation in Belfast, as well as the Peter McVerry Trust, the Simon Communities, Focus Ireland, DePaul Ireland, the Capuchin Day Centre, Cope Galway and Thomand House in the South of Ireland.
Around 20,000 people and families asked the Housing Executive for help dealing with homelessness in Northern Ireland last year, and more than 50 people declare themselves homeless each day. In January-March 2017, there were 1,500 more cases (39.7%) of homelessness reported in N.I compared to same period in the previous year.
Players throughout Ulster want to highlight the this issue in Belfast but more than that, they want to make a tangible change, by supplying resources such as sleeping bags and food to those in need.
With players such as Chrissy McKaigue, Jane Adams, Christy McNaughton, Caroline O’Hanlon & Ross Carr all involved, it is hoped their presence will be felt and challenge others to consider this issue in their own community and lend the hand of support at a time of year which makes the plight of homelessness all the more heart breaking.
The group will be sleeping out around Belfast City Centre 6pm – 6am. Starting at Cornmarket for a bit to gather support from Christmas shoppers and people out for the night.
To support these players sleeping out to support people experiencing homelessness, simply click Donate Now to donate via the Gaelic Voices for Change website.