A frightening number of people, families and children have fallen into homelessness, and with a recent media spotlight on the issue, never have we been more acutely aware of it. Each and every day, more and more individuals are facing the culminating effects of eviction, rent arrears, abuse, poverty, bereavement, physical health conditions, and addiction or poor mental. They are very quickly being left behind, without a safe and secure place to spend the night.
In Dublin, where Linesight is headquartered, there are 3,162 individuals, 2,096 children and 1,028 families trapped in emergency accommodation, isolated and destitute; this magnitude of individuals, families and children has never been witnessed before. Thankfully the introduction of additional emergency beds has greatly reduced the number of people without a safe place to spend the night, although there are still people taking refuge on our city streets – grateful for a sleeping bag or a layer of cardboard to protect their bodies from the bitter cold and hardship.
Dublin Simon Community is an exceptionally valuable organisation, which works tirelessly to tackle the homelessness crisis in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath, by providing invaluable services and support to those who need them, in all stages of homelessness. Just two nights ago, on 25th January, its Rough Sleeper Team counted 53 people sleeping in the doorways, parks and laneways of Dublin’s City Centre.
In 2012, Dublin Simon Community acquired a property in Phibsboro in Dublin. The site included a 22 bed unit, two shop fronts and two apartments, and was funded using government grants and Simon’s Capital Development Fund. In 2016, a further seven townhouses were acquired for shared accommodation in neighboring Spire View, again through Simon’s Capital Development Fund. This will be the site for Chester House Phase Two – a 20 bed, high-support housing unit, for people who have experienced long-term homelessness and may have mental health, addiction, physical and personal care issues. It will provide a permanent home for people who are unable to live independently and will have 24-hour support staff on site.
Linesight is delighted to be offering Cost Management and Project Management services for this project, and we would encourage individuals and organisations to offer their skills, where possible, to support Dublin Simon Community in their efforts.
Linesight COO, Paul Boylan, explained why the organisation is getting involved:
“It's great to be involved in this project, as it's a cause that is very close to all of us and we are proud to support the fantastic work that Dublin Simon Community does. We’re really looking forward to the journey in delivering the project, alongside the rest of the team (RKD, Ethos and Garland).”
Speaking about the collaboration, Sam McGuinness, CEO of Dublin Simon Community said:
“We are delighted to work with the Linesight team to create a 20 bed unit extension to our high support housing project at Chester House in Phibsboro, providing additional long-term solutions for people who are homeless. The number of vulnerable adults, children and families becoming homeless highlights the urgent need for safe and secure housing with dedicated specialist care. It is only with the support, guidance and belief of our supporters that we will achieve our target of 480 additional bed units over the next four to five years.”
The “housing crisis” is a phrase we hear so often, it has almost become meaningless. But make no mistake – this is an urgent, desperate situation and it is affecting thousands of people around Ireland from every background, every day. By delivering specialist short and long-term housing, Dublin Simon Community are giving people a chance to regain their dignity and purpose – in essence, a chance to rebuild their lives. If you would like to find out more about supporting Dublin Simon Community, or to donate, please click here.
More about Dublin Simon Community and the Simon Capital Development Fund:
Dublin Simon Community works to prevent and address homelessness in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath, providing services to individuals, children and families at all stages of homelessness. Its aim is to enable people to move to a place they can call home. Invaluable support services include Soup Run and Rough Sleeper teams, prevention and resettlement services, high support accommodation, independent housing, health and addiction treatment, counselling services, training, education and employability.
The Simon team listens to people who turn to them for help, and do everything they can to support them to move out of homelessness into independent living. They strive to empower people to access, secure and retain a home of their own, by reducing their reliance on short-term emergency accommodation and providing permanent supported housing for them to sustain a home in their local community. Moving people into supported housing produces life-enhancing and life-saving results, and is more cost-effective in the long run.
Since 2012, the Simon Capital Development Fund has created 239 bed units in the Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath areas, helping over 370 men, women and children move out of homelessness. Their five year strategic housing plan, which started in 2016, aims to acquire 480 additional bed units that have the potential to help over 750 men, women and children move from homelessness towards a place to call home.