We are trying to educate people on the homelessness crisis in our midst as it is crucial in our society for us to help put an end to this problem. We aim to raise awareness about homelessness in Ireland and to fundraise for local homelessness charities. We are trying to actively work to benefit our community and do what we can to contribute to our society by helping out those in need. It is important that we help tackle this problem as right now around 13000 people in Ireland are homeless. With the cost of living crisis effecting everyone right now some have been hit worse than others and have ended up without a place to call home. It is our belief that this is inhumane and that nobody should need to stick this hard winter out on the streets. We felt inspired to chose this social issue to tackle as we as a generation have the power to change the narrative on homelessness and educate more on the reasons that force people onto the streets. With spreading knowledge of this crisis we hope to inspire more people to help out in their community and take people off the streets.
Our Social Issue
The social issue we are focusing on is homelessness. Homelessness is a complex issue that extends beyond the absence of shelter; It embodies a profound lack of stability, security and belonging. It represents a state of vulnerability where individuals, often through a series of unfortunate circumstances, find themselves without a place to call home. It causes numerous challenges – physical, emotional and societal. Beyond the absence of a physical dwelling, homelessness strips away layers of safety nets, erodes self-esteem and isolates individuals from essential support networks. It reflects a systemic failure where economic hardships, inadequate social services, mental health struggles, or personal crises converge, leaving people on the margins of society, seeking refuge and dignity. Addressing homelessness demands not only providing shelter but also tackling the root causes through comprehensive support systems, empathy and systemic changes. Understanding homelessness involves delving into the intricate web of factors that contribute to individuals or families finding themselves without stable housing. It encompasses recognizing the multifaceted nature of the issue, which goes beyond just lacking a physical home. It involves understanding the interplay between economic hardship, insufficient affordable housing, mental health challenges, substance abuse, systemic inequalities, family breakdowns and societal stigma. It's about comprehending the harsh realities that homeless individuals face daily – the struggle for survival, vulnerability to exploitation and the immense difficulty in accessing healthcare, education and employment opportunities. It also involves acknowledging that each person experiencing homelessness has a unique story an circumstances, requiring personalized, compassionate and multifaceted support rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding homelessness means recognizing it as a systemic issue that necessitates collaborative efforts across sectors to address its root cause while providing immediate assistance and pathways to stability and dignity for those affected.
Why We Chose It
We chose this subject as it is such a prevalent issue in today's society. Every day in town we pass homeless people sleeping rough in storefronts, or begging for money. It is heart-breaking to see, and we hope that with our project we can make a slight difference in the lives of these people. If we can help one family get a warm meal, or sleep in a shelter for one night, then we feel that we have made a substantial difference. Hopefully this will encourage more people to make these small differences, to help others.
We hope to spread information and awareness about homelessness in our local area. We hope to raise money, food and clothing donations for local homeless charities. We want to spread awareness within our school through presentations, talks and announcements, as well as creating posters, a website and an Instagram account with information about our project and resources that can help all at risk of homelessness.
Our Innovative Action
We carried our fundraisers, for Penny Dinners. We had a clothing drive, to collect warm clothes and tinned food for Penny Dinners. We created an Instagram account and a website with information about our project and homelessness resources. We spoke to students in CSPE classes about our project, making presentations to them. We posted about our work on the school app, and put up posters around the school advertising our work. We are currently working on a PowerPoint presentation that we will show to students when our guest speaker comes in to talk about homelessness to students.
We have raised awareness amongst students and family members. We have fundraises for Penny Dinners. We have collected warm clothes, and donated 4 car loads in total! We have donated non-perishable food, to this get charity, that provides substantial meals to those in need. Students from our class have volunteered for a week or two in Penny Dinners, helping with sorting clothes and food prep. More students are hoping to return to Penny Dinners again this year to volunteer again. We have seen first hand the great work that they do, and we want to carry on with it.