Who are Galway Simon Community?

Galway Simon Community was set up in 1979 by a group of volunteers who refused to accept homelessness on the streets of Galway. With the support of the wider community, we have grown, developed, learned and adapted over the years to become a leading provider of homeless and homelessness prevention services in the West of Ireland.

We support a person’s right to security, dignity and wellbeing in their own home and believe that early intervention is the most effective means of reducing the trauma and cost associated with homelessness.

In 2020, we supported a total of 646 unique households, representing 748 adults and 440 children, throughout our Homelessness Prevention. Housing & Support Services.

Why is the Sleep Out virtual this year?

For the past five years, Galway Simon Community’s annual Sleep Out has made a significant impact on Homelessness Prevention Services throughout the West. Sadly last year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the event couldn’t take place as we knew it. However, thanks to the incredible commitment and support from communities across the West, our reimagined Virtual Sleep Out became our most successful and inclusive event to date with Montessori Groups to Secondary Schools; Choirs to Scout Groups; Sports Clubs to Youth Councils, along with Businesses and Enterprises of all sizes taking part.

Given the recent rise in Covid-19 case numbers and the uncertainty of how things may unfold in the coming weeks, we are going virtual again this year! This means that no matter where you are in the world, be that Moycullen, Westport, Castlerea or Shanghai, you can still  enjoy this unique solidarity experience safely.

What is expected of Sleep Out participants?

Firstly, we would encourage you to identify a place to Sleep Out, making sure that it’s safe, legal and that it adheres to Public Health Guidelines on social distancing.

Once you register, an online fundraising page will automatically be created for you to kick-start your fundraising. There’s no set fundraising requirement but we are encouraging participants to work towards a minimum fundraising goal of €250 for individuals and €1000 for a team. We are here to help you every step of the way and our fundraising team can provide tips, materials and guidance to help you reach your goal – just contact us at sleepout@galwaysimon.ie

On Friday, October 1st, participants will have exclusive access to engaging & fun activities hosted by a number of special guests, as well as the opportunity to join several live-stream link ins throughout the night. Our media partner Galway Bay FM will also be covering the schedule live on air.

I want to Sleep Out. What’s my next step?

Thank you for standing in solidarity with those facing homelessness by choosing to participate in this year’s Sleep Out. You can register online here or get in touch with our team at sleepout@galwaysimon.ie or by calling 091 381828.

Remember, by encouraging your friends, family, and co-workers to get involved to register with you as part of a team, you will be able to raise more funds to help more people facing or experiencing homelessness.

Can friends or family Sleep Out with me?

Absolutely! An experience is always best shared and we are asking all participants to call on their friends, family, colleagues, and teammates to take part together wherever they are in the world. Please encourage them to register online in advance so that they can generate their own fundraising page and receive any updates directly.

If you’d like to take part as a team, please select the ‘create’ or ‘join’ team options when registering and then use the invite link to ask your teammates to join you.

If you have a specific question regarding creating a team, don’t hesitate to contact the fundraising team at sleepout@galwaysimon.ie or call us on 091 381828.

Why do I have to fundraise? And how much do I need to raise?

Sleep Out for Simon 2021 is a unique experience that we hope encourages awareness, empathy, and understanding of the immeasurable challenges that people experiencing homelessness overcome. But while awareness of a problem is important, it isn’t a solution.

The fear and trauma of having nowhere to sleep is a stark reality for some, and Covid-19 continues to pose an even greater challenge to those who don’t have the security of a home. So far this year, we have already seen an alarming rise in the number of households needing our help. As high rents and a severe lack of affordable accommodation continue to drive people into homelessness, we are hugely concerned about even more challenges ahead.

Throughout the pandemic, our dedicated front-line teams have worked tirelessly to keep Clients across our Homelessness Prevention, Housing, and Support Services safe and well. Our fundraising activities and charity shops have been severely impacted and our finances remain under significant pressure.

We urgently need your support to ensure that we can continue to be there for those who will need us most in the difficult times to come.

There’s no set fundraising requirement but we are encouraging participants to a minimum fundraising goal of €250 for individuals and €1000 for a team. We know you can do it — getting started is as easy as sending an email — and we are here to provide the tips, materials, and guidance you need to help you reach your goal.

How will the funds I raise help?

The people we support are faced with a continuous stream of challenges in their daily lives. However, thanks to the commitment and solidarity from incredible communities across the West, and even further afield, we can make a real difference in the lives of those who are facing the threat of homelessness.

Funds raised last year, which came to a staggering €137,205.10, will directly support over 500 individuals and families facing the risk of homelessness across the West. A truly phenomenal achievement. Each and every one of our amazing supporters helped to make this happen. This year, that could be you.

100% of proceeds will go directly towards safeguarding Galway Simon Community’s Homelessness Prevention Services so that we can continue delivering the support needed to protect the most vulnerable in our society from homelessness.

Galway Simon’s Homelessness Prevention Services include an outreach Community Support Service, a Rapid Prevention Service, a dedicated Youth Service, a specialist Women & Family Service and a drop-in Resource Centre.

I received some donations in cash and cheques. What do I do with them?

Funds raised offline can be easily added to your iDonate fundraising page by following these steps and a link for transferring funds will be provided after the event.

If you are Galway based you are also welcome to call to our office at Galway Simon Community, 11 Sean Mulvoy Centre, Sean Mulvoy Road, Galway, H91 EAY0.

For alternative options please get in touch with us at sleepout@galwaysimon.ie or on 091 381828.

We are here to help! If you have any further questions please get in touch with us at sleepout@galwaysimon.ie