Simon Community says it needs to raise €2m to maintain existing services

Tue, Oct 2, 2012, 01:00

The Cork branch of the Simon Community says its facilities are under serious pressure because of the increasing numbers of people who are becoming homeless or who are threatened with the loss of their home.

“We are seeing a rise in the numbers of people who are becoming homeless. In the last six months we have seen a rise in rough sleeping in Cork,” branch chief executive Dermot Kavanagh says.

“We have a situation where the emergency shelter is full every night of the week. We are aware that more women are becoming homeless, we are aware that there are more young people becoming homeless.”

Cork Simon says it needs to raise more than €2 million in voluntary donations if it is to break even by the end of the year and at least maintain existing levels of projects and services for people who are homeless.

Last year Cork Simon’s 44-bed Emergency Shelter was full every night – in all, 411 people were accommodated in the shelter during the year. Nineteen per cent of Shelter residents were female – the highest number to date – and 19 per cent were under 26.

Almost half of the people that come to the Cork Emergency Shelter are able to move on within one week and more than two-thirds within one month. However, almost one in five people is still stuck in emergency accommodation six months later because there are no move-on options.