As a Community we promote a socially just society and campaign for a society without homelessness. Our campaings aim to build public support, win hearts and minds and raise awareness of the many issues relating to homelessness.
Campaigning is all about raising awareness, winning hearts and minds, building support for our cause, and influencing change.
We use a variety of campaigning methods every year to achieve our campaigning goals – including hosting our annual Simon Week, delivering social media campaigns, developing and publishing research reports, rolling out media campaigns, lobbying government, politicians and policy makers, and much more.
Winning hearts and minds can often mean working to try to change people’s perceptions of homelessness – that it can happen to anyone.
Our flagship campaign each year is Simon Week – Seven Days of Action on Homelessness. Usually held in the first week in October, Simon Week aims to demonstrate that everyone in the wider community has a part to play in tackling homelessness.
Our first Simon Week was held in October 2008. We aim to facilitate as wide a participation as possible from both within Cork Simon and from the wider community in Cork.
One of the more popular aspects of each Simon Week since 2008 is an annual showcase of the talents and skills among people using Cork Simon services.
Another key aim of Simon Week is to ensure the issue of housing and homelessness is on the political agenda. Since 2012 we’ve organised an annual get together of some of our residents and some of Cork’s local and national politicians – City Councillors, TD’s and Ministers. It’s an opportunity for politicians to hear first-hand the barriers and challenges that people wwho are homeless face everyday. It’s also an opportunity for politicians to explain the challenges they face in implementing policy, and to account for themselves on their record of tackling homelessness.
Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD, spent over two hours meeting with Cork Simon residents during Simon Week 2014.
Online campaigns are an effective way to facilitate the wider community to have their voices heard on the issue of homelessness and to make sure our elected representatives know that Cork cares about homelessness.
Our first national online campaign, Home for Good, invited people to sign a petition to Government demanding that the homelessness budget for 2015 be maintained. 10,000 people signed the petition. The budget for homeless services in the 2015 Budget was maintained.
Our follow-up online campaign – Stand and Deliver, invited the wider community to sign a letter to Cabinet demanding that it stand by its promise and deliver adequate housing to end long-term homelessness. Over 10,000 people signed the letter which was delivered to Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly TD. In December 2014 the Minister annunced a significant investment in social housing provision for the coming years.