KYNE Gives helps to combat the homelessness crisis
By Faith Thompson
April 27, 2018
April 27, 2018 – At KYNE, we are lucky to call Dublin, New York City and Los Angeles our homes. Three great cities, but also three cities where far too many people don’t have homes of their own. The homelessness issue, better described as a homelessness crisis, is a global issue that must not be ignored. At KYNE we are inspired to improve and save lives on both a global scale through wide reaching initiatives but also within our local communities through grass root participation. This year as part of KYNE Gives, our social impact program that provides annual group volunteering opportunities and focuses on one important issue each year, we plan to address the social responsibility we have to the homelessness crisis.
So how big is this crisis we’re facing? To scale the issue:
~9,100 people are homeless across Ireland, and more than one in three of those in emergency accommodation is a child
In NYC ~63,100 people are homeless including ~15,500 homeless families
Homelessness has surged 75 percent in six years in LA,from ~32,000 to ~55,000
It is difficult to walk anywhere in any of our cities, or other cities, without seeing first-hand the severity of the issue. To help address this issue, we conducted our first KYNE Gives activity of 2018 during our company offsite in February. As a team, we assembled 150 hygiene kits for homeless men and women in LA served by PATH, an international non-profit organization that focuses on five key area: vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations. The kits contained toothpaste, tampons, socks, hand warmers and other supplies. Additionally, they included handwritten notes with an encouraging message to give the recipient a personal boost of positivity.
“We don’t often think about the basic necessities we use every day. Being able to offer a person on the street hygiene products can mean either rejecting our services, or starting a conversation,” according to Jesus Torres, PATH’s Coordinated Entry System Outreach Coordinator. “Thank you for helping start conversations, and for helping our clients begin their journey towards being housed.”
An item I felt particularly proud to include in our packs were female sanitary products. Period poverty is an issue that many homeless women face. A recent study found that 42 percent of the homeless population in Ireland are women, with Dublin accounting for 47 percent of the female homeless population. Academics say these figures do not include residents of domestic violence centres. In the Dublin office, we’re planning to connect with local organisations, that are dedicated to addressing the Homeless Period, to see how we can further help support our community.
As we look forward, our team will be participating in local volunteer initiatives to help address homelessness in each of our communities, starting with our LA team who will be meal planning and cooking lunch for 75 homeless people. Together we hope to contribute to our different communities in a meaningful and impactful way that will help address the increasing seriousness of global homelessness. Ultimately, we hope to inspire others to get involved and help where they can.
On a more global level, on the 10th of October 2018 people around the world will mark World Homeless Day in many varied ways and change the lives of homeless people in their local community. The aim and slogan of the Day is ‘locals act locally on a global day’. Why not take this opportunity to get involved in your local community? Visit World Homeless Day.org to find out more.