herald

Monday 16 January 2017

Activists raise €160k in less than two weeks to help Apollo House

Glen Hansard showing his support for Home Sweet Home
Glen Hansard showing his support for Home Sweet Home

An incredible €160,000 has been raised for Apollo House since the building was taken over by activists fighting the homelessness crisis.

A GoFundMe account was set up online on December 14 in order to help support the campaign, and more than 3,000 people have contributed so far.

The contributions have ranged from €5 up to €700, with businesses and individuals all getting behind the occupation of the building, which is currently holding 40 people.

The building was first taken over by Home Sweet Home - an umbrella group for the Irish Housing Network (IHN) and the artists and musicians that are backing the occupation of the Nama building.

The account, which is run by IHN, says that all of the proceeds go towards running the Apollo House campaign and their aim is to raise €500,000.

Notices outside Apollo House
Notices outside Apollo House

They say that anything raised in excess of what they require will go toward their campaign to end homelessness in Ireland.

"The homeless need our help and we are sick and tired of waiting while families go homeless and people die in the streets, so now we are taking action," a statement said.

Vulnerable

"We are asking you to support us in housing homeless people until the Government gets its act together and realises that the most vulnerable in our society are the priority."

One of the biggest donations was €700, which came from Lee Walsh, who is living abroad and was unable to come home to Ireland this Christmas.

Instead he donated all the savings he had made for the trip home.

"I can't make it home this Christmas, so I'd like you to have the money I had for my plane ticket. Wishing you all the best and thank you for your dedication and hard work. Happy Christmas," he said.

Meanwhile, despite being inundated with volunteers earlier in the week, Home Sweet Home was scrambling for help over the Christmas period and made a last-minute plea on its Facebook page.

The activist group has called for help in the security, support, maintenance and cleaning sectors for today across all shifts. Voluntary shifts are 8am-3pm, 3pm-10pm and 10pm-8am.

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