DCU’s St Vincent de Paul Society sleep rough for homelessness

Róisín Phelan

The students' aim was to raise both money and awareness for the homelessness crisis.

DCUstudents slept rough for 24 hours to raise money and awareness for homelessness.

Members of the university’s St Vincent de Paul (SVP) society carried out their annual 24 hour sleep out from 12 noon on Tuesday, December 4th, until 12 noon the following day.

Members of the society spent the day and night on cardboard, with only sleeping bags and blankets for warmth, the aim being to mimic to the best of their ability the daily experiences of a homeless person.

The participants spent the full 24 hours outside the Henry Grattan building on the Glasnevin campus.

They told The College View that they, “want to raise money for homeless people and raise awareness for homelessness.”

Though numbers were extremely low on Tuesday afternoon, by the evening they had increased to about eight people.

Members said they expected to be joined by more as the evening progressed further.

The DCU SVP Facebook page informed people that they could, “do as many or as few hours as you want,” and emphasised that they should “Make sure to wrap up.”

The society strategically chose to run the event in conjunction with the Nubar’s weekly ‘Shite night’, in the hopes to catch students on their way to and from the event.

When joking about being bombarded with a swarm of drunken students, the SVP members said, “that’s the point.”

Donations of food and drink were given to the group throughout the day and night from other clubs and societies, Nubar and DCU Students’ Union to keep the group going.

St Vincent de Paul, “The largest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland”, has been around since 1844, and carries out several different charity events in aid of homelessness in the run-up to Christmas.

The charity is also involved in DCU’s SU Christmas tree, featured in The U.

The ‘giving’ tree is already surrounded by gifts that will be given to people who struggle with the costs of the Christmas period.

It allows people to take a tag that gives them a description of the person they need to buy a gift for. For example, a tag that reads ‘Girl 8-10’ can then be replaced with a present suitable for the description.

The total figure raised by the sleepout will be announced on the society’s Facebook page. In the past, they have raised upwards of €1000 and have high hopes to do the same again this year.

Róisín Phelan

Image Credit: Alison Clair