CONONAVIRUS

Mid West Simon calls for support for vital services

Anne O'Grady

Reporter:

Anne O'Grady

Appeal for support

Appeal for support

In a bid to raise funds for those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary during Covid-19, Mid West Simon is calling on the generosity of the local communities to donate what they can.

Due to restrictions, the charity’s usual calendar of fundraising activities has ground to a halt, while the demand for services has increased exponentially amid the pandemic.

Commenting this week, Mid West Simon Board member Liam Toland said, “The food bank in particular has come under immense pressure over the past two months. Before Covid-19, Mid-West Simon were providing regular provisions to 7,300 clients. Now, that figure is closer to 8,300. This has led to an unprecedented demand for Mid-West Simon’s services and we are trying as best we can to expand and adapt to meet the current level of need.

Many of the 1,000 new families are finding themselves in food poverty for the first time as they or their partners have lost their jobs, while others are struggling to cope without the meal programmes provided by DEIS schools.”

Founded in 2006, Mid West Simon Community provides services to men, women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

The organisation supported 8,000 people in 2019, offering individualised supports and plans tailored to each person they help.
Mid West Simon provides a range of services including its Foodbank which operates throughout the Mid West, providing a listening ear in a warm, friendly, non-judgemental environment.

It also provides emergency accommodation for people and families experiencing homelessness, providing housing specialists, nurses, counsellors and other health professionals on-site.

Its Housing First programme helps people and families experiencing homelessness to attain and maintain their home.
To date, 100% of all clients have maintained their tenancies. Housing First supports involve daily/bi weekly contact, supports around mental health and addiction issues particularly exploring and/or establishing detox engagement and support with legal issues.

As a social landlord, Mid-West Simon provides 63 permanent housing units directly. Women accounted for 30% and children accounted for 40% of all people supported across Mid-West Simon's services in 2019.

MWSC make housing available in the private rented sector though contacts in the region and work closely with other social housing providers so as to make sure the most appropriate housing is available to suit people's individual needs.