The Simon Communities in Ireland have launched an urgent appeal calling on those who can, to provide support for their vital frontline services that are under immense pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the 10,148 people living in emergency accommodation across Ireland, this is a crisis within a crisis. The homeless charity says that Covid-19 is putting many already vulnerable people at particular risk, including those who are homeless and those who are at risk of becoming homeless due to a sudden reduction in income.
Homeless services are included on the list of vital services identified by the Government. At the Simon Communities across the country, frontline teams have been working tirelessly to keep people safe and to ensure that more people do not lose their homes during this crisis.
The emergency appeal launched this week by the Simon Communities compares the challenges of social isolation with the challenges that people experiencing homelessness face each day. The campaign was launched in response to the additional financial pressure on Simon Community services across the country as the charity responds to the Covid-19 crisis and concerns that economic instability may increase the numbers at risk of homelessness.
The most recent Government statistics for homelessness in the North West region of Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, show that 63 adults and 17 child dependants were staying in Local authority managed emergency accommodation during the week 17 - 23 February 2020. No figures are available for the number of people living in refuges or those sleeping rough, sofa surfing, sharing with family or friends in overcrowded conditions, who are typically described as the “Hidden Homeless”.
Noel Daly, General Manager of North West Simon Community, points out that while the organisation’s offices and shop in Sligo town are closed and community fundraising events are suspended indefinitely, our housing staff continue to offer support and assistance to people across the region.
“Homelessness hasn’t gone away because of the Coronavirus, and together we can make sure that nobody is left to face either crisis alone. We are maintaining daily contact with those who are most vulnerable, and staying in touch with all our other tenants and outreach clients, to ensure that people and families have everything needed to keep safe during this very difficult time. I also want to remind everyone that we are here for our community”.
If you yourself, or anyone you know, is at risk of homelessness, or in need of other supports contact us right away”. You can do so by completing a referral form at https://www.northwestsimon.ie/i-need-help-to-keep-my-home/ or by calling 071 9147522 and leave a message.
North West Simon Community raises 79% of its operating income through public fundraising so COVID19 presents a challenge to our very survival. If you are in a position to support us at this difficult time for everyone, you can make an online donation at www.northwestsimon.ie/donate-now/, by post to 4 JFK Parade, Sligo, F91 PY50 or direct to AIB Bank Account BIC AIBKIE2D / IBAN IE82 AIBK 9371 8505 2910 91
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