Sodexo pledges €150,000 to support families to exit homelessness

Overview of the Partnership

Sodexo is a company that strives to improve the quality of life for everyone.  Our partnership with Focus Ireland, in place since 2014, embodies this ambition and has developed from the provision of food towards supporting the needs of the whole family.

Over the past 6 years, Sodexo has donated 23,300 meals to the Focus Ireland coffee shop.  However, with the escalating homelessness crisis, Sodexo wanted to do more and have a bigger impact on this crisis.

Given the changing profile and increasing number of families presenting, in 2019 Sodexo became the first corporate sponsor to the newly created Focus Ireland Family Centre.

Sodexo pledged €150,000 over 3 years to ensure families experiencing homelessness receive the necessary support in an environment created with their needs in mind.

The aim of the Family Centre, which is under one roof, is to provide families with the professional support to exit homelessness.  This includes case management, child therapy, child care and also warm nutritious meals and a safe welcoming space for parents and children to eat together as a family.

Implementing Best Practice

Sodexo and Focus Ireland partnership is in place since 2014 and during 2019, Sodexo agreed the extension of this partnership for a further 3 years, working with a more strategic focus and direction. Sodexo’s commitment to ending hunger is one of the key elements to our philanthropic endeavours, we have extended this to encompass the wider remit of improving the quality of life.

Contributions, fundraising and volunteering to specific Focus Ireland initiatives include:

Shine A Light:

  • Volunteering over past 2 years, sleeping out
  • Providing food for those sleeping our, including staff to business leaders taking part in the sleep out initiative and Iveagh Gardens event. Delivered food to all the regional & university events.

Women’s Philanthropy Circle:

Since 2014, providing experience, thought-leaderships and speakers to this initiative which brings together women in business to raise funds to end youth homelessness in Ireland

Focus Ireland Family Centre:

Contribution of funding to support this new service.

The Impact of the Partnership

Research from Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Ombudsman has shown that after six months in emergency accommodation children begin to experience lasting effects on their development and health. Cases have shown that toddlers cannot learn to walk with the limited space in hotel rooms.

The Sodexo pledge has meant that Focus Ireland has been able to launch this innovative service, attract further support and ensure that families who previously were in a cycle of one night only accommodation have an identifiable pathway out of homelessness.

The ambition of the Family Centre, which Sodexo shares, is that the 400 most vulnerable families who are experiencing homelessness right now will be provided with case management over the next 5 years.

The Family Centre is a special place, where families receive a warm welcome, which is so important when they are in the midst of a crisis. Plans are put in place to help them to exit homelessness and alongside this their immediate needs such as warm nutritious meals and a safe space to have their children looked after is catered too

Sodexo’s support will directly enable support of 20 families, 15 children and the provision of 100 meals a day to those using the Family Center.

Sodexo’s Impact in 2019

Sodexo provided €44,330 in cash donations and €19,826 was raised through employee fundraising for local groups and projects during the year.

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