“Defending the outsider has meant we have had to become outsiders ourselves as our work continues to highlight the failure of public policy” – Alice Leahy
TRUST today welcomed the decision by National University of Ireland to award an Honorary Degree to ALICE LEAHY, the organisation’s Director and Co-Founder, as meaningful recognition of the value of outsiders in Irish society.
Set up almost thirty years ago TRUST provides a health and social service to people who are homeless but also seeks through an active public education programme to make society aware why people sleep rough on our streets and what needs to be done to tackle that crisis.
“Many of the people we meet everyday are outsiders and we are at times the only real human contact many of them have. Society can be insensitive, daunting and intimidating to people who are vulnerable – some so fearful of the intrusions of modern life that they prefer to risk life on the streets than fit in and avail of services. Repeatedly making this point, based on our first hand experience, has also meant that we in TRUST have found ourselves being treated as outsiders by those meant to be running our social services as our work inevitably highlights the continuing failure of policy in this area,” ALICE LEAHY said underlining that she sees this award as real recognition for the work of TRUST and everyone involved which is all about valuing the outsider and those who are different in our midst.
ALICE LEAHY co-founded TRUST in 1975 as an innovative service to help meet the health and social needs for people who are homeless after much research and hands on work in that field. A former Ward Sister and Night Sister, she set up the first Intensive Care Unit of its kind in Ireland at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital. In pursuit of TRUST’s commitment to public awareness she has also become a writer, commentator, broadcaster and lecturer with her second book “With Trust in Place – Writing from the Outside” published by Townhouse just before Christmas.