A new student-led project, Change for Change, aims to “empower four homeless individuals, by finding accommodation and assisting them in becoming financially independent and securing stable employment within the next year,” its team leader, Fiona Mullally, told Trinity News this week.
Change for Change is a new project by student society, Enactus TCD. Enactus encourages students to use entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life of people in need. Several social entrepreneurial projects have been developed through Enactus TCD, including FoodCloud and Ethic Threads.
During the initial planning stages in September this year, the Change for Change team decided to focus on improving the lives of four homeless individuals. Fiona commented, “We believe that, with a project in its infancy, trying to help four people is much more attainable and will enable us to make a real impact in their lives.” In order to achieve this goal, the project will source housing and food for the four participants as well as providing training sessions to enable them to get back into stable employment.
Several sponsors have already declared their interest in the project and the team have already secured some funding to help with the development of Change for Change. They are also working with several homeless charities, including the Fr. Peter McVerry Trust, the Tiglin mobile café which supplies hot drinks and food to the homeless in Dublin city and the Trinity College branch of St. Vincent de Paul. The team also works with Lighthouse on Pearse Street, running soup kitchens on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons. Fiona praised the work of these groups saying, “we are delighted to work with somany fantastic, selfless people.”
The team is in contact with a number of homeless charities to help with the selection of the four individuals for the Change for Change programme. They are keen to connect with more organisations currently working with homeless people in Dublin and “build as many partnerships as possible to spread our message and amass contacts.” “We are very excited to be working with such amazing organisations and can’t wait to see the great work we can do collectively,” Fiona added.
Change for Change is actively seeking funding for the programme, particularly for housing and training. Within the next year, the project team hope to continue to work with charitable organisations, develop partnerships with sponsors and ultimately build a sustainable network of support services for the project. As leader of the project, Fiona Mullally is looking forward to the expansion of the project in the New Year. “We are extremely excited about 2015 to find our candidates and make a massive contribution to the lives of four people,” she told Trinity News.
There will be several Change for Change fundraising events over the Christmas break and in the new year. The official launch of the project will take place at the start of Hilary Term.