With approximately over 3,500 people who are homeless in Ireland, our correspondent Laura Flaherty spoke to UCC Saint Vincent de Paul about raise and give week, and what they are doing to tackle this nationwide problem.

Every year, like most colleges, UCC has a Raise and Give week to raise and donate money to local and national charities. However some charities and some causes need more urgent action and more attention, because of this, they are given a week of their own.

The annual UCC homelessness week carried out by the Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) society is underway this week, seeing thousands of students stand up and say no to the epidemic that can clearly be seen across the city of Cork.

While it is hard to say exactly how many homeless people there are in Ireland, due to people living in temporary, unsuitable accommodation, it is estimated that there are 2,348 homeless households. Seeing this as completely unacceptable, UCC students rally in force to raise money for much needed supports, such as shelters and beds for people without any.

SVP Society Auditor, Daniel O’Driscoll had this to say about the week:

“Homeless Week run by the SVP Society is one of UCC’s oldest events at 20 years old. The whole purpose of the week is to raise funds and awareness for the ever-growing homeless population in Cork. The 48 Hour Campus Sleep Out is the main event of the week. Sleeping outside the Boole Library for 48 hours. As the Head of UCC SVP I feel that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. It’s 2014, a developed country like Ireland, and there’s over 3,500 people in Ireland homeless. That’s not something society should be able to stomach, more awareness needs to be raised because this problem will not go away anytime soon."

UCC students can donate money by attending the quizzes, screenings and 48 hour camp out. Students in other colleges can donate directly to Saint Vincent de Paul or Simon Ireland to help combat the growing problem that is homelessness in Ireland.