Since taking on the role of managing director at The Mission Control Communications, straight talking Patricia Killoran has led the agency to multiple international successes and last month, announced the launch of a new dedicated science and healthcare agency to clients in New York.
Now she’s turning her attention to a cause much closer to home – homelessness, which has already claimed 4 lives in a very short space of time.
We’re used to hearing from you on things related to the business, but this is something very different, what’s prompted you to speak out on the subject?
I was out in NYC last month with work and one night we ended up with a couple of extra rooms booked at the hotel we were staying in. Since we were paying for them and they were going to be empty, we asked at the desk could we offer them to a couple of homeless people that were sleeping across the street. Granted it wasn’t a long-term solution, but it would give them a warm bed for the night and a chance for a shower and just to be safe for even a night. Well the lady behind the desk looked like I’d just asked her to give me her firstborn. So the rooms ended up empty and we had to settle with just giving the homeless folks some money.
When we got home, I was chatting to some people about it and naturally everyone thought it terrible. But then walking through Belfast City Centre I spotted a group of homeless people sitting in a doorway. Now before you judge, these were just ordinary folk that had run into hard times. The point I’m making is that homeless is an issue closer to home than a lot of people might think.
There have already been four deaths on our streets and whilst government is talking about a response, it’s too slow in coming for those that have to face the reality of not knowing where they are going to put their head down tonight.
What will you and The Mission Control Communications be doing to help?
We’re working with a local charity called Faith Outreach Belfast. Basically they identify the things that homeless people most need and ask the public to donate to a Wish List. Well we’re helping them in the only way we really can at the moment – we’re asking them to give us a list of the items they most need and then donating them.
So how do you see what you’re doing helping to address the problem?
Look I’m not suggesting for a moment what we’re doing is going to solve homelessness, that’s a bigger issue for society and the government to address. What we’re doing is simply helping to make life a little bit easier for people caught in a terrible situation.
Could we do more? Probably. Will we do more? Certainly. But this is a starting point and we’re glad to be able to help Faith Outreach Belfast in anyway we can and we’d encourage anyone reading this who can help to do so as well. What might be a small donation for you could be a massive help to someone else.
Good luck to the team at Faith Outreach Belfast including Breige Headley, Roisin Finlay and Deborah Finlay from all at The Mission Control Communications and we hope this small donation helps make a difference.