- About Homelessness
- What We Do
- You Can Help
- News & Resources
- About Us
- Simon Week
Cork Simon’s Emergency Shelter provides care accommodation and support for 44 men and women on a 24 hour basis every night of the year. Located on Anderson’s Quay in Cork City Centre, the Emergency Shelter is full every night. Cork Simon works with other organisations in Cork to ensure there are enough emergency beds so that no one has to sleep rough.
Throughout 2011 a total of 411 different people stayed at Cork Simon’s Emergency Shelter. People staying at the Emergency Shelter are among the most marginalised, vulnerable and excluded. They include women as well as men, young people in their late teens and twenties as well as older people.
Many are in poor mental and physical health. Drug and alcohol addiction can be an issue. Broken families, poor upbringings, inadequate education, dreadful life circumstances, unemployment, can all be contributing factors to people’s homelessness. People who are most vulnerable and excluded often experience a combination of some or all of these factors, usually referred to as complex needs.
Throughout 2011 19% of people staying at Cork Simon’s Emergency Shelter were women – a significant increase over the previous year. 48.4% were in the 18-34 year old age group. 37% were new to the Emergency Shelter in 2011.
Every person staying at the Emergency Shelter is assigned a Key Worker. Working together they will thoroughly assess the person’s needs – health. housing, education, life skills, problem alcohol and drug use, support networks, disabilities, employment, personal history, from which an individually care plan will be drawn up, agreed and implemented, and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The goal is to move people into the most appropriate housing with any supports necessary as quickly as possible. Whilst this happens in many cases, the lack of appropriate housing options can delay this process. There is often a shortage of housing options for people with a broad range of needs that require high levels of support – often referred to as complex needs. As a result the number of people who are long-term homeless continues to rise.
The Government strategy on homelessness, The Way Home, defines long-term homelessness as stays of six months or longer in emergency accommodation. Throughout 2011, 76 people staying at Cork Simon’s Emergency Shelter were long-term homeless - an increase of 15% compared to the previous year.
In 2010 Cork Simon Community conducted a health study among all people using Cork Simon projects and services during the last week of July. Homelessness Makes You Sick found that in the Emergency Shelter:
- 39% of people had a diagnosed physical health condition.
- The most common physical health conditions were Wounds & Injuries (23%), Heart related conditions (16%) and Respiratory Disorders (11%).
- A further 14% had symptoms suggesting a physical health condition but at the time of the Health Snapshot study had not been diagnosed.
- 28% had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- The most common mental health conditions were Depression (19%), Bipolar Disorder (8%) and ADD or ADHD (6%).
- A further 39% had symptoms suggesting a mental health condition but at the time of the Health Survey had not been diagnosed.
- 88% used alcohol. 20% reported complications as a result of alcohol, indicating problem alcohol use.
- 28% had a diagnosed mental health condition and used alcohol and / or drugs.
- 11% self-harmed and 6% had attempted suicide in the previous six months.
- 41% were referred to health services
- 19% were admitted to A&E during the month of July.
The Emergency Shelter works with each person on a one-to-one basis ensuring that people have access to and engage with the range of supports necessary to build a long lasting and sustainable pathway out of homelessness.