Speaking from our Aftercare House, Sean* recalls his experience of becoming homelessness and sleeping rough, his efforts to get sober and his sheer relief at being offered a bed in our Aftercare House – what Sean calls his ‘safe zone’ – from where he is making plans for his future.*not his real name
Our Director, Dermot Kavanagh, talks about how people are finding themselves stuck for longer and longer periods of time in emergency accommodation, how housing, and providing support in housing, is key to ending homelessness and our plan to access 100 new housing units by 2020.
Chair of our Board of Directors, Eoin McGuirk, reflects on how so many different people and organisations come together through Cork Simon to play their part in solving homelessness and outlines some of our key plans for the years to come so we continue to respond to homelessness in a dynamic, responsive way.
*Our Day Service is home to a range of services including our Outreach Service and Youth Homeless Drug Prevention Programme and provides access to a Health Team.
On a fresh day in February we launched 'Le Chéile' - a beautiful 15 foot canoe, hand-crafted by eight of our Training and Employment participants with support from Meitheal Mara and Cork ETB. There were proud smiles as she took her maiden voyage down the Lee!
"The garden is number one at the moment. It passes away the day and you feel better about yourself; feel you're productive and not just a pretty face; you're good for something." Sean shares his thoughts on looking after the flowers he and his housemates planted and tend to at one of our High Support Houses. Therapeutic activities like these often plant seeds of hope for a brighter future.
Congratulations to our Full-Time Volunteers on their graduation from Dublin Institute of Technology’s Certificate in Volunteering course. The course is delivered in-house here at Cork Simon so Full-Time Volunteers gain theory alongside the practical experience of volunteering.
Blue skies and a huge crowd marked the start of Yoga in the Park 2016. The people of Cork have shown incredible support and fondness for Yoga in the Park, organised by Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre Cork in aid of Cork Simon with €13,399.53 raised in 2016. We could not provide the level of service that we do without such kind and generous support. Thank you! Namaste!
Congratulations to all who received Civic Awards at City Hall in June 2016. Our Director, Dermot Kavanagh was honoured with an award by Lord Mayor, Cllr. Chris O’Leary at City Hall. Dermot accepted it on behalf of everyone involved in Cork Simon for our commitment to tackling homelessness and developing services for people who are homeless in Cork.
Blue skies, sunshine and sea air does everyone the world of good! Our Activities Team organises a range of therapeutic activities, such as this trip to the beach at Youghal. Activities are designed to help residents relax and feel better about themselves, spent time outside of homeless services and develop skills and interests, all of which support them in their journey out of homelessness.
Cork Simon residents took to the streets during Simon Week 2016 for our Cut the Red Tape Pop Up Protest. Twelve life-size images of Cork Simon service users, bound in red tape to highlight the everyday bureaucracy and discrimination people experience when homeless and trying to find a home ‘popped up’ across the city, catching the eye of passers-by and sparking conversations about the housing and homeless crisis, it’s issues and solutions.
A proud and happy smile at our annual Awards Ceremony! Alan was among 159 people who achieved 363 certificates between them, for their participation in and successful completion of training, education and employment classes and courses in the 12 months up to September 2016. Congratulations to all!
2016 was the inaugural year of our Great Cork Simon Supper. During the month of September, people from across Cork came together to share a meal and in the process helped to provide healthy, nourishing food for people who are homeless. Our annual food bill exceeds €180,000 per year and funds raised from the Great Cork Simon Supper contributed directly to this bill.
Our Home Truths video, produced for Simon Week 2016, homed in on people’s real-life experiences of trying to find a home and leave homelessness behind, the obstacles they face and the toll it takes. https://vimeo.com/user28964013/cork-simon-home-truths
Thousands of caring people dug deep into their hearts and into their pockets to raise over €3.7 million for our services in 2016. For this we are so very grateful. It is only with such generous support that we are able to provide the level of service that we do, 365 days a year.
The continuation of the housing and homeless crisis in Cork in 2016 put enormous pressure on all our services. More demand for emergency beds and a severe shortage of housing were the hallmarks of 2016. But hope never dies. Our hope is fuelled by so many people and organisations throughout Cork working together, volunteering their time and skills, donating generously and rallying around to help address the challenges and barriers faced by people who are homeless. Thank you for helping to keep hope alive and for believing in people.
* seconded to the Charities Regulatory Authority
No board meeting in August