A Message from Dermot Kavanagh

Cork Simon Community supports over 1,000 people every year. Our services operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We work to address some of the most challenging aspects of homelessness. Many of the people we support are among the most vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged people in our community. Our values of Commitment-to-Care, Community, Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice and Voluntarism guide and inform us in all that we do.

Providing housing, care and one-to-one support around-the-clock for 127 people everyday, as well as providing drop-in visiting support, and employment and reintegration services for many hundreds more, requires a strong Community of like minded people with the skills, experience and commitment necessary to help make sure people have a real and long-lasting chance of rebuilding their lives.

We are lucky here in Cork to have that strong Community: 22 full-time volunteers – mostly young people from all over the world taking a year out to make a difference; the equivalent of 76 full-time posts staffed by highly skilled and experienced people providing expert care and support every day of the year; up to 1,000 active volunteers sharing their life skills and experience at every level, from serving on the Board of Directors to helping to fundraise, to spending one-to-one time with residents; over 16,000 generous donors digging deep into their hearts and into their pockets, helping to make sure Cork Simon has what it takes to make a difference.

This strong Community is making a difference – a big difference. People are turning their lives around. People are, against the odds, leaving homelessness behind them.

Making that big difference costs money – around €8 million per year. It also requires organisation, administrative support and informed planning. It requires an organisation that is open, transparent and governed to the highest standards.

Cork Simon’s annual accounts are independently audited every year by PricewaterhouseCoopers. We prepare our accounts in accordance with Irish accounting standards and with reference to the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for charities. We have chosen to adopt this as a comprehensive framework that enables us to explain what we aim to do, how we go about it and what we achieve. Our most recent audited accounts (2017) are available to download HERE.

Just one third of our expenditure is covered by HSE through an annual written agreement towards pay costs for 48 skilled care posts at our emergency shelter and high support housing services. Around 12% of our annual costs are covered by Cork City Council as part of an agreement to provide accommodation and homeless services on behalf of the local authority. None of our services are fully funded – they never have been in the 45 years that Cork Simon has been operating. We receive a much smaller sum of money from other State agencies such as the Education & Training Board, Department of Social Protection and the Local Drugs Task Force.

None of our services would exist today without the generous support of our donors. We need to raise €2.8 million every year from individuals and companies to make sure an adequate range of services are in place to tackle homelessness effectively.

We work hard to make sure all of that money is spent as efficiently and as effectively as possible. We aim to provide the best possible value for money in delivering highly specialised services for people who are homeless. We keep all of our funders informed of how we spend every Euro.

Despite year-on-year growth since 2008 in the number of people needing our services – and over €1 million in cuts from our statutory funders during that time, we have responded by increasing the level and quality of existing services, and developing and opening new services. At the same time we have been constantly looking for ways to become more efficient. Over the last few years we have:

• Reduced staff numbers.
• Reduced the number of managers.
• Negotiated a pay freeze in 2009.
• Negotiated pay cuts of up to 7.1% in 2010.
• And we review and revise day-to-day costs every year.

As the principal employee at Cork Simon Community my annual salary is €89,800. I do not have a company car, a car allowance, a bonus, or any other perk or entitlement – no one at Cork Simon does. I am reimbursed for any necessary work-related travel upon submission of appropriate receipts. As with all staff Cork Simon makes a 5% maximum contribution to its defined contribution pension scheme, of which I am also a member.

Achieving these efficiencies means that 88 cent of every Euro we spend goes directly on activities and services.


At all times we strive to be accountable to the people who support us, to the people who work and volunteer with us and to the people that we support. We want to be as efficient and as effective as possible in achieving our goal of ending homelessness. We have achieved so much together over the last 45 years. We have done so in a spirit of mutual trust, in a caring and compassionate way, and with a shared vision of building a better society.

I would urge you to get in touch with me if you have any concerns about how our annual budget is spent or if you have any questions or concerns about how Cork Simon is run. You can contact me through the form below.

Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity, for supporting Cork Simon Community, for believing in the people we support. Together we are making a difference.

– Dermot Kavanagh, Director, Cork Simon Community.


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See how Cork Simon Community is governed