The homelessness and housing charity experienced high numbers in 2018, and stress the need for action on homelessness
The Simon Communities of Ireland today launch their Annual Report for 2018, showing a 26% increase in people turning to all of their emergency, prevention, sustainment services and housing throughout the country over 12 months to the end of last year.
The Annual Report shows that 16,776 people used Simon Communities services in 2018, including 2,834 families with 5,331 children, up from 13,304 people in 2018. The annual report shows that:
- 5,263 people were supported in housing by the Simon Communities, a 56.8% increase since 2017, when the number was 3,356.
- 1,738 people accessed emergency accommodation provided by the Simon Communities in 2018, a 79.5% increase since 2017, when the number was 968.
- 2,834 families with 5,331 children were supported by the Simon Communities across their services in 2018.
- 2,812 people accessed specialist treatment and support services which included healthcare, counselling and community alcohol detoxification.
- 827 people accessed Education, Training and Employment services provided directly by the Simon Communities.
Wayne Stanley, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said that the new numbers underline the Simon Community’s commitment to moving people and families out of homelessness into secure homes and also respond to people’s trauma and addiction by the provision of much needed treatment, recovery and health and well-being services.
“Today we are reporting the number of people we worked with last year increasing to 16,776 people, an increase of over a quarter in just one year. These numbers show that this homelessness crisis is continuing to impact on the lives of many people. The Simon Communities around the country were on the frontline, helping 5,263 people to maintain a permanent home in 2018. Our communities ensure that people are not forgotten or left behind in this homelessness and housing crisis.
“We are experiencing very welcome decline in family and child homelessness in Dublin. This is due to partnership and collaboration between NGO’s, local authorities and Government departments throughout the year. However, this week’s latest homeless figures showed record levels of people forced to access emergency accommodation in October. Over 10,500 men, women and children will now enter the New Year in that situation. And this is very much a nationwide issue; we have seen levels of rural and long-term homelessness increasing, along with instances of ‘hidden homelessness’ and those forced to stay with family or friends. We are all aware that the main driver of homelessness is a critical lack of secure affordable accommodation, and this is something that needs to be addressed by Government.
“With the lack of affordable and social housing or an accessible private rental sector, the majority of homeless people are now constrained by having nowhere to go. Every case is different; what is common to all is that homelessness and housing insecurity is traumatic, stressful and filled with uncertainty. In its work across the country, the Simon Communities see this impact each and every day.”
Wayne Stanley, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities in Ireland, said it is vital that the current upward trend in homelessness does not become normalised.
“The Simon Community’s door is always open to those who find themselves in need. We are committed to pursuing a country where homelessness is rare and short-term. There are solutions that will have a meaningful impact on ending housing insecurity and homelessness for people, such as the provision of sustainable cost rental accommodation. There must also be a continued focus on prevention and keeping people in the homes that they already have. As we face into 2020, we need to remember that this homelessness and housing crisis cannot be accepted as normal.”
For media queries and interview requests
Tel: 01 671 1606 / 085 806 5141
Simon Communities Annual Report Launch
Date: Thursday, December 5th 2019
Venue: Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2
Key figures from Annual Report 2018
- – The Simon Communities in Ireland worked with 16,776 people in 2018, including 2,834 familieswith 5,331 children.
- – Soup runs took place 365 nightslast year in Cork and Dublin.
- – 1,738 peopleaccessed emergency accommodation over the course of the year.
- – 5,472 peopleaccessed Prevention, Early Intervention and Advice Services.
- – 2,812 peopleaccessed specialist treatment and support services which included health care, counselling, and community alcohol detoxification.
- – 1,125 people availed of drug and/or alcohol treatment services.
- – 827 peopleaccessed Education, Training and Employment Services provided directly by the Simon Communities.
- – 5,263 people were supported in housing.
- – 1,221 people were supported in Simon housing.
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities support over 16,700 men, women and children. We have 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please visit www.simon.ie
- – Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
- – Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
- – Housing with support and Housing First services.
- – Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
- – Personal development, education, training and employment services.
- – Foodbanks, drop-in centres and soup runs.