'Help find Graham a home' Laois man starts fundraiser for man sleeping rough in Portlaoise

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

'Help find Graham a home' Laois man starts fundraiser for man sleeping rough in Portlaoise

An online fundraiser to help a young man who has been sleeping rough in Portlaoise for a number of weeks is gaining traction online. 

The fundraiser was set up by Dean Maher from Stradbally after he got to know Graham who is originally from Belfast. Graham has been sleeping rough in Portlaoise after having a hard time on the streets in Dublin, according to Dean.

Some €795 was raised by 45 donations within 18 hours of the fundraiser being set up. The goal is to raise €5,000. 

Dean has described his reasons for starting the fundraiser on the GoFundMe page. 

"I've got to know Graham over the past few weeks and we'll I can honestly tell you that he is one of the nicest lads I've ever met.

"He is originally from Belfast but has had a tough time since the age of 12 when he went into foster care, however that only lasted until he turned 18 and then, unfortunately, he has had to fend for himself when he came out of care and ended up on the streets in Dublin.

"He had a hard time up there, from being robbed, abused, and assaulted, until finally, he decided to save up enough and get on a train to Portlaoise.

"My first time meeting Graham really opened my eyes to his generosity, I brought him over food one night when I finished work, I sat down beside him and the first thing he did was open the bag and offered to share his food with me.

"We chatted for almost two hours the first night and now nearly every time we meet its the same.

"He told me that he has never seen anything like the generosity and kindness of the people in Laois since he got here, he has set himself a goal of finding a place that he can finally call his home and my god I've never met a more driven person to do that.

"He has already applied for a couple of jobs down here and is waiting to get his Safe Pass.

"Everyone needs a hand in life sometimes, I for one have needed help many times in the past, the good thing about us as people is we help each other in time of need,  we are doing this fundraiser to help Graham get back on his feet and start his life. To get him a place he can call home. Somewhere he can finally start to follow his dreams, everything that's made will be put towards this goal.

"Every little helps, even if it's just going over to him for a quick chat," Dean wrote. 

Some people have left comments on the fundraiser showing their support.

"Best of luck to Graham, we all fall on hard times and it's nice for people to give a helping hand."

"Graham is such a lovely fella when I asked him if he needs or wants anything his response was 'no, thank you, I have everything'. I wish him all the best."

"Everyone needs a chance in life wish you all the best Graham and well done Dean."

DONATE TO THE FUNDRAISER HERE.