‘A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out’ – By Vicky Weldon-Barr

“To live in a society where everyone has a place they can call home.”
Last year, upon my return, I looked for ways to get involved in helping my community for the better. With that being said I decided that one of the biggest issued the Irish society was facing is that of the homeless crisis plaguing all areas of Ireland and Irish society. I joined four others on a journey of advocacy and action to tackle the issue and raise awareness among the younger Irish community, thus the birth of Humans Too!!
Humans too is a voluntary organisation established in 2014 by a group of people dedicated to making a difference to the life’s of people who are homeless in Dublin City Centre. Humans Too aims to provide the skills, support and opportunities that motivates and challenges homeless people to transform their lives. We aim to highlight the continuous issue of homelessness in Dublin City Centre and to encourage those with the means to help those less unfortunate. Humans Too has been established to offer those of the Dublin community to reach out a helping hand to those less fortunate and offers the opportunity to engage in voluntary work within the wider local community of Dublin city.
Humans Too believes that, at the very minimum, every out of home person should have access to nutritious food, warm and fresh clothes, and some friendly Human contact. These are just some of the essentials that every Human needs. Everything we do is centred on ensuring that we achieve this. In the process of doing this, we aim to change people’s perspective on homelessness, raise awareness, and lobby against government policy.
We have a team of people who manage all aspects of the charity, from finance, fundraising, recruitment of new members, operations, health and safety etc. Collaborating with other charities such as Crosscare and “The Jacket Off Your Back”, ensures we have a constant supply of food, clothing, sleeping bags, and hygiene products for each of our runs. Humans Too teams meet during the evenings to prepare food, clothes, sleeping bags etc. Our teams then operate a mobile run and a street kitchen. Both operations are equipped with hot meals, food, sleeping bags, and hygiene products.
As a Director of Humans Too I have been in charge of looking after developing our Volunteer Handbook, Policies, Fundraising Events and Social Media Campaigns. This has broaden my knowledge and experience of working with those of the homeless community in more ways than I could imagine. We have signed up over 250 volunteers and continue to grow.

With the unexpected success of Humans Too I have to say I feel unbelievably proud of the Board of Directors and all of our volunteers. We have raised immense support from the general public and word is spreading. Recently I was asked to speak at the UCD SVP and L&H Society debate during homeless week, while also getting donations from numerous companies across the city.
Being involved with Humans Too has allowed me to learn more and more about those who I pass by sitting on the streets of Dublin day in and day out with nowhere to call home. As an organisation we look to build relationships with these people and get to know them. We provide for these people night after night with basic necessities to get through – hearing and listening to their stories in hope to be able to raise awareness to the general public. I am grateful to those who have let me into their lives and opened my eyes to this whole new world that the homeless community are living in. I look forward to the future growth of Humans Too and will work hard to advocate alongside and on behalf of those who need a hand up.
Humans Too entered the Better Together Campaign, which is looking to highlight and support the work being done by organisations and communities around Ireland. Below is a brief video of the work carried out each night by Humans Too Volunteers.