Our Impact: Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives
Tragically, the number of people who rely on us for accommodation, healthcare and support has drastically increased as the homeless crisis has spiraled. It’s the worst we have ever seen. When we first opened our doors in 1969, we never could have predicted that our services would be so desperately needed, by so many, 50 years later.
In the last five years, as the crisis has deepened and touched the lives of far too many people, we have expanded our services and increased our response to ensure we are a shining light of hope for people in their darkest hour of need.
During the life span of this crisis, Dublin Simon Community’s dedicated teams of staff and volunteers have vigorously worked to provide vital and life saving services to people in Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan. They sit by their side on the pavements, support them through ill health or bereavement and advocate on their behalf to keep them in their homes with their family.
Last year alone, we increased our work by 22%, giving a helping hand to 7,600 individuals and families during the toughest of times.
Each day we are delivering outreach to people who are rough sleeping, housing for individuals and families, treatment for those dealing with health issues, support to keep people in their homes and education to get them back on their feet.
Volunteers are at the core of the Dublin Simon Community’s work
“Sometimes people who are homeless appear invisible to us but one thing we have to change is our approach towards them. Something as simple as asking ‘Hi, How are you?’ can make the world of difference. It has been an experience of a lifetime.” – Iury
We have an extensive full-time volunteering programme here in the Dublin Simon Community. Currently the Dublin Simon Community have up to 60 full-time volunteer placements throughout our Housing, Emergency, Treatment and Support Services. The approach to full-time volunteering has an emphasis on reflective practice and both formal and non-formal learning.
The History of Dublin Simon Community
Dublin Simon Community was founded by a group of Trinity and UCD students in 1969, who began by providing much-needed soup and sandwiches to people who were sleeping rough in Dublin city centre.
In addition to the Soup Run, which still goes out 365 nights of the year, Dublin Simon Community provide many services which aim to help those who are sleeping rough on the streets, people who are in their own accommodation but at risk of homelessness and those who are at any of the stages in between.
- 1969The first Soup Run was founded by students from Trinity College and UCD.
- Our first supported housing service opened. Today we provide a range of housing services.1976
- 1984Rough Sleeper Team established providing support, advice and health services.
- Ushers Island opened. Today it provides addiction treatment and recovery services.1989
- 2000Our first training, education and employment services were set up.
- Resettlement service established. We now provide prevention services and tenancy support.2002
- 2003Alcohol Detox and Rehab opens at Ushers Island.
- Social Club established.2006
- 2007Learning and Development service established.
- Harm Reduction Service set up by Rough Sleeper Team.2008
- 2010Mobile Health Unit set up with Safetynet. Support to Live Independently Service established in partnership with four Dublin Local Authorities.
- We expanded our housing support services into Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.2012
- 2015Housing Management Service expanded to manage Simon’s supported and independent accommodation.
- We opened new counselling rooms as part of expanding our Sure Steps Counselling.2016
- 2017History of Dublin Simon CommunityWe expanded our homeless specific Community Employment Scheme, with opportunities for placements across our services.We opened “The Hub” beside our treatment services at Ushers Island, transforming a derelict warehouse into exercise and creative rooms for our health, wellbeing, education and creativity services.Our new 30 bed emergency accommodation at Longfields opened its doors in December.We expanded our homelessness prevention services into Cavan and Louth.
- We opened a Step Up Step Down Intermediate Care Facility at Ushers Island in partnership with Safetynet Primary Care. We expanded our homelessness prevention into Monaghan.2018