Tuesday 25 September 2018

CorkHi19°| Lo

Cork Independent

News

Growing numbers turning to Simon

Wednesday, 5th September, 2018 4:46pm

You could have heard a pin drop when acclaimed author Louise O’Neill spoke about seeing a homeless person for the first time as she launched the 2017 Cork Simon report yesterday.

She told a packed room in Nano Nagle Place about seeing a man in Dublin when she was four or five years of years with a blanket and pillow and asking her parents if they should phone the gardaí to help him.

Ms O’Neill, who used to volunteer with Cork Simon, said she couldn’t sleep that night in the warm and comfortable hotel room her family were staying in, thinking about the man out in the cold.

The next day she said she looked for him and his pillow and blanket but couldn’t find him.

“It was as if I imagined him,” she said at the launch of the charity’s e-report which revealed that 1,403 people turned to Cork Simon in 2017 for help, an 18 per cent increase in 12 months.

Responding to a growing need for homeless services, Cork Simon increased its emergency bed capacity, opened its day service for rough sleepers on Saturdays and opened a three-bed aftercare house for women leaving drug and alcohol treatment programmes.

The report showed that 339 people stayed in the emergency shelter during 2017 and that they were staying for longer periods than ever before. The charity also recorded an average of 19 people sleeping rough in Cork per night in 2017.

58 people were supported into employment through Cork Simon’s Employment and Training services and over 650 volunteers gave their time, energy and skills to Cork Simon too.

Cork Simon Director Dermot Kavanagh told the media at the launch on Wednesday, that while the current and past housing minsters have seemed energetic about solving the homeless and housing crisis, the department’s policies need to be looked at.

He added: “We welcomed and critiqued the Rebuilding Ireland plan but we need to look at it again. I think there needs to be a stronger focus on developing new preventative measures. The area of rent certainty needs to be revisited and strengthened, as does the rights of tenants.”

Speaking after the launch, Louise O’Neill said: “Before I volunteered there was a part of me that felt uncomfortable when I would pass someone that was homeless on the street. I also thought that they were very different me and that this couldn’t happened to me. When I started to volunteer with Cork Simon I began to realise that this thinking was really absurd because homelessness effects people from all walks of life.”

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message