Media personalities to go 'homeless' for 30 hours

YMCA`s homeless activity last year.

YMCA`s homeless activity last year.

The YMCA is urging people to spare a thought for the 300 or so homeless persons in Malta by supporting a fund-raising event taking place today and tomorrow, when 17 individuals linked to the media will be going homeless for 30 hours at Freedom Square, in Valletta.

YMCA chairman Jean Paul Mifsud said he was hoping the initiative would raise much-needed funds for its Valletta Homeless Project, a shelter that is costing some Lm70,000 to set up.

The shelter is expected to welcome its first guests later this year. It will be able to house 44 persons but part of it will also be available for use by backpackers.

Many of the homeless, Mr Mifsud said, were women and children.

Although the government gave YMCA some Lm6,000 a year, this amount was less than the organisation's operational budget, said Mr Mifsud.

Those taking part in the Freedom Square stunt will not take along any personal belongings to try and get a taste of the life of a homeless person.

Last year they were permitted to take toiletries or personal belongings. This time, they will rely completely on the generosity of the public.

The participants are Clare Agius, Nathal Attard Bayliss, Peppi Azzopardi, Brendan Borg, John Bundy, Ray Calleja, Andrea Cassar, Kurt Castillo, Annalise Ellul, Xandru Grech, Christine Haber, Eileen Montesin, Mariella Scerri, Joe Tanti, Rachel Vella, Gianni Zammit and Rosanne Zammit.

Maltacom is supporting the event through dedicated lines for anyone wishing to make a donation. For a Lm3 donation call 5004 9493, for a Lm5 donation call 5004 9495, and for a Lm10 donation call 5004 9490. The lines will be open for two weeks.

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