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Housing Support Team
Cork Simon provides housing for twenty-seven people every night in Cork Simon flats throughout Cork. The Housing Support Team supports people to return to independent-living with ongoing supports for as long as people need them. People supported by the Housing Support Team have survived homelessness and are on track to rebuilding their lives.
The Housing Support Team also supports people living in private rented accommodation, in city and county council houses and in accommodation provided by various housing associations; supporting people to keep their tenancies and to begin leaving homelessness behind them. For some – particularly those with complex health conditions and addictions, it can be a long journey.
The Housing Support Team works on a one-to-one basis with each person. Together they assess the person's needs, put together a personal care plan and offer support in building the person's confidence and skills necessary for independent living. This will include training programmes, back-to-work initiatives, various activities and building social networks.
The Housing Support Team manages four separate apartment blocks providing supported, independent accommodation for 27 men and women who were formerly homeless. A further fifteen people per night are supported in flats managed by an independent housing association, Galtan. Appropriate accommodation is also identified within the Private Rented sector and City Council housing stock. This small range of housing options will be used to identify the most suitable and appropriate choice of accommodation for each person that feels ready to move to independent living.
The Housing Support Team supported 87 people throughout 2011. Whilst people’s health and other needs are much less than people staying in Cork Simon’s Emergency Shelter and High-Support Houses, people still have a range of health and other needs that require low to medium levels of support.
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 among people supported by the Housing Support Team:
- 20% had a diagnosed physical health condition.
- The most common physical health conditions were Respiratory Disorders (8%), Heart related conditions (6%) and Wounds & Injuries (6%).
- 45% had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- The most common mental health conditions were Depression (15%), Schizophrenia (14%), and Bipolar Disorder (11%).
- 12% had at least two diagnosed mental health conditions.
- 14% reported complications as a result of alcohol, indicating problem alcohol use.
- 11% engaged in self-harm. 3% attempted suicide in the previous six months.
- 42% were referred to health services
- 8% were admitted to A&E during the month of July.
The Housing Support Team focuses on supporting people to maintain their tenancies, manage their mental and physical health, address their problem alcohol / drug use, build life skills, return to employment where possible and build quality of life. The team continues to offer each person the level of support they require or feel comfortable with for as long as that person needs it.