Over 100 sleep out in the cold to raise funds for homelessness

The Belvedere College Annual Sleep-Out is aiming to surpass the nearly €190,000 raised last year

Over 100 sleep out in the cold to raise funds for homelessness

A snow-covered sleep-out in 2011. Image: Belvedere College Annual Sleep-Out

Over 100 students, teachers, past pupils and parents of Belvedere College will be braving the elements in Dublin City centre for the next three days to raise awareness and funds for Ireland’s homelessness crisis.

The students of Belvedere College have been running their sleep-out every year for the past three decades and last year they raised €189,439 for Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust and the Simon Community.  

Organisers said this year’s sleep-out has taken on extra importance with over 6,500 people classified as ‘officially homeless’ according to figures from Focus Ireland.

The number of people sleeping rough on Dublin’s streets has increased by over 40% since the last count in April of this year.

The sleep-out organisers are encouraging members of the public to come down for a chat to learn more about the problem of homelessness in Ireland and how the chosen charities are helping to ease people’s suffering all year round.

Spokesperson Conrad Oppermann told Newstalk the students are aiming to surpass the nearly €190,000 raised in 2015.

“Particularly now, it has become massive in the media - the problem that is homelessness - and especially because of Apollo House people are really aware of what it means to be homeless at Christmas,” he said.

“Over the Christmas period there will be over 6,000 people who are homeless and 2,500 of those will be children.

“Over 200 people tonight will be sleeping homeless on Dublin’s streets.”

The sleep-out is taking place at two locations - outside the Bank of Ireland on College Green and at the GPO on O'Connell Street.

You can support the sleep-out by heading in to meet the students in person or donating through their website here.