Simon Communities at ‘breaking point’ as numbers seeking help up 24%

Charity says cuts being implemented disproportionately across the State

The Simon Communities of Ireland are "deeply, deeply worried about the future", saying a 24 per cent increase in numbers seeking its help is pushing its ability to serve them to "breaking point".

The homelessness charity’s annual report for 2012, to be published this morning, shows it worked with 5,245 across the State last year, compared with 4,229 in 2011.

"And these are 2012 figures," said Niamh Randall, head of policy and communications, "so the figures for this year are going to be even higher. We know there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin alone this year, so we are deeply, deeply worried about the future."

She said funding cuts were “pushing services to breaking point”, adding that cuts were being implemented disproportionately across the State. While the national cut to homelessness services last year had been 3 per cent, there had been a 12 per cent cut in the midlands and a 5 per cent cut in Cork last year.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times