For the first time since 2019, musicians will descend upon the streets of Dublin on Christmas Eve for the "Big Busk" in aid of the Simon Community.
With homeless figures hitting a record high in Ireland, this news is a welcome boost, with household names such as Bono, Imelda May, Glen Hansard, Hozier, Sineád O'Connor among others set to feature.
To help the charity reach its fundraising targets, other events have been set up including Sing for Simon and the Carolathan.
Beginning this evening at 5-30pm, the Sing for Simon will see artists like Curtis Walsh, Aimée, Séamus Harty, Taylor D, Wild Youth, Kenan Flannery, Georgia G, Terence Browne, Sophia Doyle Ryder, Lucan Gospel Choir and Lilliana performing on the steps of the Powerscourt Centre.
Join us for a magical evening at the Sing for Simon launch tomorrow at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre from 5.30pm - 7.30pm pic.twitter.com/UnZRyLf47J— Dublin Simon (@Dublin_Simon) December 7, 2022
Speaking recently, Simon Community CEO Catherine Kenny shed some light on the "scandalous" figures regarding homeless people in Dublin.
“We are putting everything we can into moving people out of homelessness and keeping them in their homes where they belong, but we need all the help we can get”, she said. “For the sixth month in a row, we have reached the scandalous milestone of the highest number of people ever recorded in homelessness in the capital. The figure stands at 11,397 people in emergency accommodation”.
“Among this group is a growing cohort of older people presenting to emergency accommodation services. In the last 12 months, the number of people aged 65 and older residing in emergency accommodation has grown by 39pc”.
Elsewhere, Simon Community project worker Adam O'Reilly also explained how the charity helps people who find themselves in this situation.
“Our prevention services have seen a significant increase in calls from older people, many of whom may have lived at their property for 20 years or more, paying a low rent which they can cover with their pensions”, he said.
“What’s happening now is many landlords are either selling or passing properties down to children, which is upending a lot of these long-standing tenancies”.
“Our older clients are particularly afraid because they can’t afford to pay 2022 rent rates or if they can, might not have the knowledge necessary to compete with younger people vying for the same property”.