Murley found a mission helping homeless in Dublin
Bethany Murley ’13 has been in Dublin, Ireland, since October 2019 serving as a volunteer for the Dublin Simon Community. The 50-year-old organization battles homelessness with the attitude, “Until they can close their own door behind them, the most vulnerable members of our society will always be at their most vulnerable.”
Murley’s father was a pilot with the nonprofit Flying Mission, so she has roots in nonprofit work. She spent time in Southern Africa working with HIV/AIDS orphans in daycare centers. After graduation from Piedmont, Murley worked for Mansfield Oil Co. in business development and then for CLASS Inc. as a leasing specialist in the Atlanta area, providing sales and marketing solutions to more than 20 multifamily housing clients.
“I was working so close to where people live. Housing is very personal. People need to feel safe and taken care of and feel a sense of ownership,” she said. “During my work in property management, I saw many people housing-insecure and right on the edge of losing that sense of security.”
Murley wanted to get back into nonprofit work and to travel. As a Piedmont student, she had studied abroad in England and Scotland.
In Ireland, she found that volunteering is very formal and structured, and it comes with high expectations in exchange for the housing and weekly stipend Dublin Simon provides.
Murleyy works in a “high support” housing unit where 32 men live. She feels the same way about them that other staff members do.
“They love these guys so much. They are so interested in what they are thinking and feeling and how to help them,” Murley said. “I’ve been proud to be part of this dedicated team that advocates for service users literally around the clock.” She hopes to gain knowledge about helping the homeless and would like to continue that work when she comes back to the U.S.