Director's Report

Our Director, Dr. Dermot Kavanagh highlights what we achieved together throughout 2020 in the face of the many challenges Covid-19 posed.

Chair's Report

In his final report as Chair of our voluntary Board of Directors, Eoin MacCuirc reflects on how special a place Cork is, especially in times of crisis.

Marguerite's Story

Marguerite tells us how she managed to get through the worst of the Covid-19 lockdown – and coming out the other side all the better.

Our Impact

men and women supported across all our services.
45 people housed in independent or supported housing.
62 people supported into addiction treatment and aftercare.
7,746 hot meals served at our Soup Run, which had to return outdoors.
114 people supported into education, training and employment.

Emergency Supports

While capacity at all our Homeless Emergency Support Services was reduced because of Covid-19, we continued to provide shelter, care and support around-the-clock.

Our Emergency Shelter and Nightlight supported:


people throughout 2020.

The number of people long-term homeless in our emergency accommodation fell by 16% in 2020.

This is partly due to the rollout of our Housing First project, which continued throughout the pandemic.

Between our Emergency Shelter and Nightlight, an average of

45people per night

relied on Cork Simon emergency accommodation in 2020.

Housing and Support

We reorientated all our Housing and Support Services in 2020 to keep everyone safe. Video calls, phone and text messaging temporarily replaced in-house visits. We continued working to a Housing First approach, supporting people to move from homelessness to secure, affordable housing, and offering tailored supports to help people remain housed and work towards fulfilling their goals.

Our Housing and Support Services continued to support:

215 people

throughout the pandemic in 2020.

45 people moved to secure and affordable, independent and supported housing in 2020 – fewer than in 2019 because of the impact of Covid-19.

62% moved to Cork Simon owned or managed housing.


Housing First tenancies in place in 2020 – a three-fold increase since 2019.

The threat of the coronavirus and the restrictions introduced to contain it had a big impact on the men and women we're supporting.

'Eoin' tells us of his anxiety around the onset of winter: "Coming into the winter I'm kinda a bit anxious whether or not I'll be able to rpain in the B&B that I'm in. If I have to leave, I'd end up rough sleeping, I'd have to drop out of college that I'm starting next week; I'd be back down the rabbit hole again."

'Frank' is also concerned as we head into the toughest months: "I would be worried about the flu because I won't know whether it would be the flu or the Covid. This scares me and for the people that is living in the same house as me. The weather changing and I don't like the cold even that I lived out in it, I felt all right out in that weather; but I wouldn't like it now because of Covid-19."

'Julia' sums-up succinctly the experience of many people turning to us for help: "I was afraid of catching Covid-19. I was worryed (sic) about people around me. I was feeling very alone and isolated from other people and myself."

Building of 8 new homes delayed.

Renovation work stalled at St. Joachim and Anne's because of Covid-19 restrictions. It delayed our plans to bring eight independent living flats on stream for people who are homeless.

As soon as restrictions allowed, renovation work recommenced to sensitively convert this listed building. As 2020 drew to a close, building work was back on track for a 2021 opening.

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 had a far-reaching impact on all our services – not least on the men and women depending on them.


With the publication of A Working Life – the Continuing Journey, we completed our longitudinal research series exploring the experiences of people returning to work and rebuilding their lives with support from our Employment and Training team.

This second part of our “A Working Life” series explored the difference that working makes to the lives of the participants, the challenges they faced and the factors that helped and hindered them to sustain work.

In partnership with the Simon Communities in Ireland, we continued to conduct Locked Out of the Market studies which reflect the challenges people using our services face when trying to find an affordable home.

View A Working Life

Volunteers & Donors

We are a community of like-minded people working together to support the most vulnerable in our society. We are deeply grateful to our donors, volunteers and supporters for their commitment, care and generosity during what was the most challenging of times for all of us.

25 full-time volunteers from 7 different countries and 300 part-time volunteers – far fewer than usual because of the impact of Covid-19, gave generously of their time and skills during an extraordinary year.

19,579 kind-hearted and committed donors, recognising straightaway the challenges posed by Covid-19, donated €6.1 million, which included a number of exceptional donations. It all helped us keep our doors open for everyone that needed us.

Thank you for your support – thank you for believing in people.

Accounts 2020

89c of every €1

is spent on activities and services aimed at ending homelessness

Thank you

John J Murphy Solicitors, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and AIB, Patrick Street, Cork for their professional services.

Simon Communities of Ireland for their continued support and the Simon Communities in Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Midlands, Mid West, North West and South East.

Thanks to Hannah Ecker at Disco Milk for her help and advice in the production of this annual report.

Special thanks to our hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors.