In the week of the 22nd-28th of February 2021, there were 8,238 people homeless across Ireland. 8,238 people homeless. Eight thousand two hundred and thirty eight men, women and children. Please just allow that to sink in.
Worryingly, such a harrowing figure does not take into account those affected by ‘hidden homelessness’; those living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends. Moreover, women and children living in domestic violence refuges are not in the national count either. Finally, those people who are sleeping rough are also not counted as part of the national figure.
You might now be wondering how our young people, the future generation of Ireland, are affected by this? Unfortunately, those aged under 25 are some of the hardest hit. As of February 2021, there were 776 young people living in emergency homeless accommodation. That’s an increase of 58% since May 2015. Approximately 61% of these young people live in Dublin.
But what can be done to help? How can we lend a helpful hand to those who have fallen on hard times? When setting up the Fódla brand we wanted it to stand for something greater than just five letters and a síneadh fada. We wanted it to encapsulate the courage of a Goddess not afraid to stand atop of a mountain and see the island of Ireland as her own. Interwoven with a commitment to offering an eco-friendly and sustainable product line and helping those who need help the most.
At the beginning of 2021 we made the decision to pivot from our original giving model arrangement whereby we donated a new organic cotton for every 5 sales made. Although successful, we felt we could positively impact the lives of those on the streets in Dublin more by regularly donating clothing that they need most- socks, gloves and hats for example. In addition to continuing to donate 5% of all sales to our charity partner- Inner City Helping Homeless. Along with regularly donating clothing that is most needed by those dealing with homelessness, i.e. socks, scarves, gloves and hats.
Although not compulsory, we encourage customers to include a message for the recipients of the donated garments. A message can be added when you select the 'View Cart' button in any of the product pages. Alternatively, click the 'Cart' icon situated in the top right hand corner of your screen. Each message appears on our swing tags which are made from 100% recycled paper. An example of a message could be, ‘Keep safe, Úna from Co. Cork’. That way, somebody who might feel that they have nobody in the world who cares about them, can wake up every morning and know that there’s a lady called Úna in Cork who is thinking of them.