9th December 2020
Simon Communities Annual Report shows they supported 24,127 people in 2020. The Simon Communities across Ireland worked with 24,127 people in 2020. Their 2020 annual reports shows the overall number of people who accessed the services of Simon increased by 33.4%. In 2019, 18,087 availed of its services. 2020 saw an additional 6,040 people access services as the structural causes of the housing and homelessness crisis continued, even as the number of people in emergency accommodation fell.
A total of 110,219 nights of emergency accommodation was provided while 6,174 people were supported by Simon’s Rough Sleeping and Outreach teams. 1,415 people accessed specialist treatment and support services in 2020. These services address some of the issues which may have contributed to homelessness or been a consequence of homelessness. 363 people accessed health specialist services while 1,329 people availed of drug and/or alcohol treatment services.
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communications at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said:
“While 2020 was a tough year for everyone, Covid-19 represented a crisis within a crisis for people experiencing homelessness, who were already living with the challenges of social isolation. Simon Communities throughout Ireland, in collaboration with our community and statutory partners, responded rapidly to the emerging crisis, at local level. Nationally, we supported measures such as rapid allocation of all available social housing units, measures to increase single person emergency accommodation, and a moratorium on evictions. Together, these measures contributed to a rapid decrease in the numbers of people in homeless emergency accommodation, at least in the short term. It illustrated what is possible when Government treats homelessness as the emergency that it is.
Unfortunately, the structural issues that lead to homelessness were unchanged – a lack of secure, affordable accommodation. The essential long-term solution to homelessness in Ireland is a sufficient supply of social and affordable housing to meet the needs of the population. While the Government’s new strategy to increase the supply of social and affordable homes gets underway, there is an opportunity to achieve rapid progress in the development of a wider range of preventative measures.”
Earlier this week, the Simon Communities of Ireland’s Bill was introduced to the Dail and will be debated on the 14th December. The Simon Communities of Ireland proposed the Bill in response to the need for greater protections for people in the private rental sector who are at risk of homelessness. The Bill proposes an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act that will provide a targeted intervention to prevent homelessness.
“The ending of the moratorium on evictions and the opening of society has seen homelessness grow over the last few months. The Simon Bill is a proportionate, targeted response to this crisis and we are really happy to see it get such broad support.”
Chairperson of Simon Communities of Ireland, Mick Price, said:
“I must extend my thanks to all of our volunteers and donors for their time and efforts given to Simon in 2020. Without their support, our services would not be possible. We take hope and courage from the support we receive from the public to continue to campaign and push for the necessary policies to end the homeless crisis, and ensure everyone in Ireland can live in dignity in a secure and safe home.
Until then, the Simon Communities across Ireland will continue to provide the support necessary to the thousands of people who knock on our door for help.”
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 /
Simon Communities of Ireland 2020 Annual Report can be found here –
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities support over 24,000 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 Northwest and the Southeast, 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 • Food banks, drop-in centres and soup runs.