herald

Saturday 29 April 2017

I'll give homeless cash - €500k lotto winner

The Dublin woman has pledged to help tackle homelessness
The Dublin woman has pledged to help tackle homelessness

A Lotto winner is promising to find homeless people in the city and give them money.

As soon as the Dublin woman collected her cheque for €500,000 yesterday morning, she said she was going to use the day to visit as many homeless people in the capital as possible "to assist them financially".

"This win is for all of those people in Dublin who struggle to find a bed at night," the woman said at Lotto headquarters.

She picked up her winnings after scooping the Saturday night Daily Million Plus prize.

"As a proud Dublin woman, it breaks my heart to see so many ordinary decent people become homeless in our city," said the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous.

"To celebrate my win, I will spend today visiting as many homeless people as I can to assist them financially.

"In the long term, I will commit to a plan to help as many as I can."

Mad

She bought her winning ticket at the Newstime shop in Palmerstown.

"I was checking my Lotto numbers at 9.30pm on Saturday night when I remembered my Daily Million ticket. I went absolutely mad," she said.

"I phoned all of my friends and we were all in the Shelbourne Hotel by 10pm sipping Champagne."

News of the woman's public pledge to help Dublin's homeless people caused keen interest among charities.

Several contacted by the Herald said they had not been approached by a Lotto-winning benefactor yesterday.

Focus Ireland spokesman Roughan MacNamara said the charity helps 12,500 people nationwide each year who were homeless or who were at risk of losing their homes.

"If she did want to speak to any of the homeless organisations such as ourselves for advice on what would work, we'd be more than happy to facilitate that," he said.

"We're putting it out on Facebook and Twitter today because it's such a good news story.

Crisis

"It's heart-warming to see someone who's had such good fortune and the first thing she really thinks of is the homeless crisis," he added.

"The latest figures show that one child became homeless every five hours in January.

"Any help that can be given by a kind-hearted woman would be going to a good cause."

The Inner City Helping Homeless charity's director Anthony Flynn said his charity would be "jumping up and down" at any offer, as it was a volunteer-only organisation reaching out to the homeless with its mobile units in the city each night.

However, he cautioned against handing out cash on the street to people with addiction problems because it could "fuel" addictive behaviour.

A spokeswoman for the Simon Community said it had not been contacted.

The charity helps 3,500 people a year and has operated soup runs since 1969, as well as providing emergency accommodation to hundreds of homeless each night.

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