Homelessness can mean sleeping rough, staying in emergency hostels or shelters, staying in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation or staying with friends and relatives when there is nowhere else to go. Homelessness is all of these things. For people experiencing homelessness it is about a lack of security, a lack of belonging and often about being cold, sick and isolated.The current economic climate means more people are at risk of homelessness than ever before with further cut backs in health, education, welfare services and training more people will become homeless and turn to the Simon Communities for support.
The Simon Community works to influence local and national government and lobby for change. We support the existing government commitments to tackle homelessness. We welcome the ‘Housing First’ approach which is endorsed in the Programme for Government 2011 and reiterated in the Housing Policy Statement. The Housing First/housing led approach will work so long as it avoids a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and embraces multiple exits from homelessness and a range of support models.
Simon is about believing in people; believing in the people who turn to the eight local Simon communities around the country every day; believing in the thousands of volunteers and Simon supporters, and believing that with the appropriate housing, care and support people can and do leave homelessness behind
How many people are homeless?
Each year the Simon Communities work with up to 5,000 people in Ireland. Being homeless is more than not having a roof over your head or sleeping rough, a greater number of people and families are staying in emergency accommodation like B&B's, hostels, staying in squats or with family and friends as they have nowhere else to go. If you would like to view the current figures on the number of people who are homeless click here
There is difficulty in attaining an accurate figure for people who are homeless. In Ireland there are two main sources of obtaining data on people who are homeless. The Housing Needs Assessment and Counted In. In 2011 for the first time the CSO counted the number of people who were homeless on Census night. All of these figures limited. In addition, they are snapshot figures meaning they are only collecting at a point in time.
3,808 people were counted in accommodation providing shelter for people who are homeless or were identified as sleeping rough on Census Night 2011.
There was no self-identification question on homelessness on the Census form. In the methodology used by the CSO people were classified as being homeless on the basis of where they spent Census Night.
Counted In 2008
Counted In 2008 identified 2, 144 households (2, 366 people) who were homeless in Dublin; 369 households (411 people) who are homeless in Cork city (only); 157 households (160 people) who were homeless in Galway city (only). There were also 214 households (220 people) who were homeless in Limerick city (only).
‘Counted In’ counts the number of persons using homeless services at a particular time in a particular place. 2008 This is the only time ‘Counted In’ was undertaken in cities outside Dublin.