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Media Releases 2014

SIMON COMMUNITIES WELCOME FUNDING BUT EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT LIMITED REGIONAL FOCUS

Thursday, May 22, 2014


21st May 2014 – The Simon Communities in Ireland today welcomed the Minister’s announcement of Capital Assistance Scheme funding to assist in their vital work, providing for 80 units of housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our society – people who are homeless and at risk.  However, the housing and homeless charity expressed concern about the regional spread of the allocations and measures to address the crisis announced in the Implementation Plan on the States Response to Homelessness launched yesterday.  

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said:

“The Simon Communities are the largest homelessness agency in the state and as such, we are delighted to receive state support for our work supporting people to leave homelessness behind for good. However, it is a mistake to see homelessness and housing insecurity as a mainly urban problem. It can be more acute and visible in our cities but the Simon Communities are working at capacity all around the country – in urban and rural areas - addressing the housing and homeless crisis. Responses must be nationally driven but locally delivered to ensure people can remain in their communities where they have family and support networks, even when they run into housing and income difficulties. In fact, these are often the times this is most important.”

“In addition, although it is absolutely critical to intervene immediately with families and children when they are at risk or become homeless, we must remember that the majority of people who are homeless are single and it is essential that we also plan for their housing and support needs. ”
The Simon Communities pointed out that this €29 million allocated specifically for homelessness is not new money being made available but a repackaging of funding that has already been announced. This package is made up of €19 million of Capital Assistance Scheme monies announced earlier in the year and a further €10million, which was announced last week as part of the Infrastructure Stimulus. 

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said:

“Given the sheer scale of the housing and homelessness crisis, this simply is not enough.  There are now over 90,000 people on the social housing waiting lists and people on low incomes are effectively being priced out of the housing market.  While it is to be welcomed that Minister O’Sullivan saw fit to ring-fence €19 million of the CAS budget for homelessness and that additional monies were allocated by Minister Howlin last week specifically to address homelessness in Dublin, it just won’t provide the homes urgently needed.   It is essential that we are given the resources to be able to deal effectively with this. We ask that budgets are reviewed later this year to see if additional funding can be found and allocated.  We in Simon are working with over 5000 individuals and their families; we cannot be stretched any further.”

For media queries and interview requests 

Helen McCormack, Simon Communities of Ireland
Tel: 01 47 27 202/ 085 8065141 
E:  communications@simoncommunity.com

About Simon Community:
The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office. The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 40 years. 

Whatever the issue, for as long as we are needed, Simon’s door is always open.

For more information please log on to www.simon.ie.

Services range from 
• Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk; 
• Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence; 
• Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;
• Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.


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