People urged to raise funds for the homeless with virtual sleepout

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Digital Desk staff

People are being urged to raise funds for the homeless in a virtual sleepout at home tonight.

The money is being raised for Focus Ireland, which wants to help the 8,728 people who are sleeping rough across the country.

The Shine a Light Night kicks off at 8pm with the aim to raise €1.3 million for the charity.

Focus Ireland chief executive, Pat Dennigan says due to the restrictions in place they have had to change what they would normally do:

"Well this is the ninth year of Shine a Light and this year because of Covid-19 restrictions, we are asking people to do things in a very different way.

"We are asking people to sleepout in their homes and in their gardens and in their own private safe spaces, amongst their family."

He said it is all in line with government restrictions around Covid-19.

Focus Ireland is asking people to join them virtually using #ShineALightNight for a shared digital experience.

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They said "Covid-19 has been a huge challenge for us all, and it has been particularly challenging for the many men, women, families, and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

"The Coronavirus means people experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable, and our front line services have adapted quickly to a 49 per cent increase in demand.

"Since the Covid-19 public health emergency began in March, Focus Ireland has moved 519 families and 1,119 children out of homelessness nationwide."

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