Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, TD and fellow TD’s Ciarán Lynch - Labour, Olivia Mitchell – Fine Gael and Mary-Lou McDonald – Sinn Fein have all pledged to take a step for Simon to tackle homelessness in honour of the fifth annual Simon Week which runs until Sunday 7th October.
All TD’s and senators are today (4th Oct 2012) being invited to attend the Simon Community Political Briefing at Leinster House where they are urged to make homelessness a priority ahead of the 2013 budget. At the briefing they will hear firsthand about homelessness in their constituency and the pressure on their local Simon Community.
Census 2011 identified 3,808 people who were in homeless accommodation and rough sleeping on census night. Niamh Randall National Spokesperson Simon Community, said: “These figures are high enough, but they actually are only a snapshot of some people in homeless services and accommodation on census night only and therefore only tell part of the story. For example these figures don’t include all people sleeping rough or squatting or people who are sofa surfing or relying on friends or family for accommodation. In addition, these figures are 18 months old and unfortunately the situation is now much worse.”
Niamh explains the political briefing event “The Simon Communities operating across Ireland last year worked with up to 5,000 people helping them make the move out of homelessness by providing a range housing options with support and working with those at risk. We are here today to ask TD’s from both houses of the Oireachtas to make homelessness a top priority in the pre-budget 2013 negotitaions. Government cuts will put more people at risk of homelessness in Ireland and increases the difficulties for people who are trying to move out of homelessness. It’s essential we avoid further cuts”.
The Simon Communities across Ireland will be holding a range of events and activities throughout the week. To take your step for Simon, log onto simon.ie and help make a difference
For media queries:
Linda Mc Kenny, Simon Communities of Ireland Tel: 01 47 27 202 / 085 8065141 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Simon Community:
The Simon Communities throughout Ireland provide the best possible care, accommodation and Support for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk. Together, with people who are homeless, we tackle the root causes, promote innovative responses and urge the government to fulfill their commitments. Simon delivers support and service to between 4, 500 and 5,000 individuals and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness. The Simon Communities of Ireland is an affiliation of local Communities in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East.
Simon’s range of services:
Simon provides a range of effective services throughout Ireland embracing a housing led approach including:
About Simon Week:
- Housing provision, tenancy sustainment and settlement services, housing advice and information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness and working with households at risk;
- Specialist health and treatment services addressing some of the other issues that may be experienced which may have contributed to people becoming homeless in the first place or may be a consequence of their experience of homelessness;
- Emergency accommodation and support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth and safety;
- Soup runs and rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.
Simon Week 2012 (1-7 October), is now in its 5th year and we hope it will be bigger and better than ever before. This year we are asking everyone to ‘Take a Step for Simon to help tackle homelessness’. Taking a Step for Simon is about getting together to make a difference, so what can you do? A step can be anything big or small - it could be taking part in a fundraiser for your local Simon Community, deciding to volunteer, donating time, a service or money, a promise to write a letter to a local newspaper - you name it and you make it your step for Simon. All you have to do is decide what your step will be and then take your step it’s that simple! If we all take a step together, we can help tackle homelessness.