This week saw 16 IT Sligo students sleep rough for a night, in order to raise vital funds and create awareness for the homeless charity SOPHIA.
The event titled ‘Sleep Out’ was organised by the Students Union's Welfare Officer, Helen Campbell.
The event took place just one night after the tragic death of John Corrie outside the Dáil earlier this week. The homeless man originally from Kilkenny was found dead in a doorway near Leinster House on Molesworth Street.
Speaking after the event, Student Union President Stephen Doak said, “It was a real experience and even though we had the chance to prepare, the event was still a challenge. We only got about 2 hours sleep and when I woke up I was freezing.”
“Obviously homelessness is at the forefront of everyone’s mind this week, but we have been working with SOPHIA since the start of the year. We need a long-term solution to homelessness not a snap reaction,” he added.
Stephen went on to reveal that they had raised approximately €1500 through both online and physical donations, however the SU were, “hoping to push that to €2000.”
ITSSU Communications Executive, Don Donoghue, explained that the Students Union’s main goal was to promote awareness both externally and internally around the college. Interestingly Don claims that the android app Snapchat proved a vital tool.
“We have a snapchat called ITSligoSU and we got such a huge reaction with people sending messages of support throughout the night, and it really helped to keep spirits up and keep people going. It also really helped to promote awareness.”
The SOPHIA charity help those who are homeless, providing accommodation services as well as offering holistic support to people in difficult situations.
ITSSU are still raising money for the charity and you can donate by following this link here.
For more information regarding the services that SOPHIA provide visit their website at www.sophia.ie.
Photos: IT Sligo Student Union