If you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please contact our Emergency Shelter on: 021 4278 728

Around-the-clock emergency accommodation

Our Emergency Shelter on Anderson’s Quay, in the heart of Cork’s city centre, provides round-the-clock temporary accommodation and one-to one support for men and women over 18 years of age. It is fully occupied every night.

Image of an emergency bed at Cork Simons emergency shelter.

Our Emergency Shelter usually accommodates 47 people each day, however we have had to temporarily reduce capacity due to Covid-19 to keep everyone as safe and protected as possible. All of our rooms in the shelter will remain single occupancy rooms for as long as Covid-19 poses a risk to health, safety and wellbeing. In November 2017, we introduced a new Winter Night Shelter - the Night Light, which increased our capacity by an additional 15 extra emergency spaces. The need for emergency beds is such that this service remains in place to this day. We have also had to reduce our Night Light capacity to facilitate adequate social distancing and other Covid-related measures.

Last year our Emergency Shelter and Night Light service combined accommodated 425 people - 86 women and 339 men.

“I was in the Shelter for about a year. They look after people; they understand people. I knew they’d understand me, my addiction; the proper help that I needed.” - 'Elizabeth'


People staying at our Emergency Shelter are among the most marginalised, vulnerable and excluded people in Cork. As such, the Covid-19 pandemic posed a very high risk to their health, safety and wellbeing.

We moved quickly to alert, inform and train our staff and volunteers to address the risks. We immediately introduced essential measures such as social distancing, use of Personal Protective Equipment, hand sanitising and additional daily cleaning.

We worked to make sure everyone using our Emergency Shelter was constantly reminded of the importance of hand and respiratory hygiene, and the need for social distancing. All of these measures remain in place.

See how Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of our work, and the men and women depending on our services.

Why we are needed

Image of two people hugging at Cork Simons emergency shelter.

People become homeless for a variety of different reasons. For many, homelessness is the result of a brief crisis in their lives. With the right supports they are assisted out of homelessness quickly. For some people homelessness occurs because of a culmination of multiple crises over a long period. People become overwhelmed by this series of personal crises and problems, many of which can be outside their control. They build up over time – sometimes years, until that final crisis moment that triggers homelessness.

Not just a bed

Many people staying in our Emergency Shelter can be in poor mental and physical health. Drug and alcohol addiction can be an issue. Broken families, poor upbringings, early school leaving, dreadful life circumstances, long-term 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.

Every person staying at our 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 and personal history. An individually tailored care plan will then be drawn up, agreed and implemented, and reviewed regularly.

Moving out of homelessness

Our goal is to move people onto the most appropriate housing with any supports necessary as quickly as possible with the support of our housing teams. Whilst this happens in many cases, the lack of appropriate housing options can delay this move. 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 people can become stuck in emergency accommodation for far longer than is necessary and become long-term homeless.