Social

FacebookTwitter

ICHH keep helping the homeless through second lockdown

ICHH headquarters on Amiens Street, Dublin

Ireland has gone into a second lockdown, but charities like the Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) haven’t stopped in aiding the nation’s most vulnerable. 

The ICHH reports 6,089 homeless people recorded in the country, with 2,787 children in emergency accommodation. While €40 million was allocated to a community sustainability program accessible to charities, the ICHH still struggles to provide the full support to people in need. 

We spoke to a Brian McLoughlin of the ICHH to discuss the challenges of adapting to charity work during COVID-19. 

Liberty: Has the lockdown seen a severe increase in people needing your aid? 

McLoughlin: While the number of people we support nightly on outreach has remained steady we have seen a huge increase in people needing food support. We supply food parcels to people that are homeless, pensioners cocooning alone or anyone living in food poverty who needed (it). Social Justice Ireland record 680,000 people living in food poverty in Ireland, shockingly 200,000 of these are children. (Source Social Justice Ireland). We expect a huge increase at Christmas. 

Liberty: Have you seen an increase in people offering financial or voluntary aid? 

McLoughlin: Fundraising has been a huge problem as we aren’t government funded. All our usual fundraising events being cancelled has had an impact. Our charity partners have stepped in to help where they can, and we successfully applied for a Community Sustainability Grant earlier in the year. The general public are always supportive of our work, but we also understand that this isn’t a normal year. We are still getting numerous requests to volunteer and are doing online inductions however as we don’t have walking volunteers due to COVID-19. 

Liberty: Is your organisation in more of a need than before the pandemic to aid people in crisis? 

McLoughlin: The demand for help is increasing while fundraising avenues have dried up, for obvious reasons. As a result, we have had to change our ways of fundraising. We launched an online shop on our website selling ICHH branded facemasks to help raise funds and keep people safe in the process. We will also soon be launching our Santa Box Appeal (replacing the Christmas Shoebox Appeal so branded differently). People will still be able to donate a physical box, but we will be launching a virtual Santa Box Appeal where people can donate the cost of a box, choose whether it goes to a homeless man, woman, boy or girl and our team for Christmas. 

If you want to aid the ICHH, or similar charities, information for volunteering, donating and special events are readily available on their websites. The ICHH’s Santa Box Appeal is set to launch in mid-November. 

Homeless and in-crisis charity sites are found at ichh.ie and the Peter McVerry Trust at pmvtrust.ie.

+ posts