Kildare homeowners asked to donate water refunds to the homeless

Three charities join forces

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare homeowners asked to donate water refunds to the homeless

Martin Heydon, Eoghan Murphy, Pat Doyle, Peter Mcverry Trust at the recent opening of the family hub in Athy

Kildare homeowners have been asked to donate their water charges refunds to help the homeless. 

Three of Ireland’s best-known charities have joined forces to form a national campaign to ask the Irish public to consider donating their refunds from Irish Water to tackle the national homelessness crisis in Ireland.

SEE ALSO: Urgent appeal for tents and sleeping bags for homeless in Newbridge

Simon Community, Focus Ireland and Peter McVerry Trust are planning a major national fundraising campaign to coincide with the upcoming Irish Water national repayment scheme which will see €173 million handed back to almost 1 million account holders over the coming months.

“The Refund Project” - a national advertising and public information campaign asking people who can afford to donate, to consider the plight of Ireland’s over 8000 people who are homeless, more than 3000 of which are children.

The new group say that even a fraction of the total repayments could help make an enormous difference in the delivery of much needed housing. 

A special oversight group is being formed to spearhead this unique joint initiative, chaired by the former head of the Workplace Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey.

Mr Mulvey said; “Homelessness is the greatest social problem facing post-recession Ireland. Focus Ireland, Peter McVerry Trust and the Simon Community are at the forefront in trying to deliver much needed investment in housing infrastructure for the thousands of people who currently have no place to call home.

"We know that almost one million people are in line for Irish Water refunds and we believe that some would be open to donating their money to such an important initiative. There will be one million refunds and a total of €173 million being handed back – that could be of enormous assistance to over 8000 people who are currently homeless in this country."

Speaking jointly today, the three homeless charities said: “For many, including those struggling to keep a roof over their heads, the refund of water charges will help making ends meet. For others who are more fortunate it will be a welcome windfall and it is to those that we will direct this appeal. The issue of homelessness is very complex, but everybody has a role to play – government, charities and society.

"It’s important to stress that this will not lessen in any way the responsibility of government and policy makers to drive forward the national homelessness strategy. For our part – we are coming together to create a national charitable campaign to enable the public to easily donate their refunded monies towards this hugely worthwhile project.”

Further details will be announced soon as to how people can donate and the types of projects that their money will go towards.