Almost six Dublin households became homeless each day since pandemic began

– Analysis shows that between March and September 1,225 families and individuals entered homelessness
– Charity launches urgent fundraising appeal as it prepares for a Christmas like no other

Dublin, 5 November 2020: Dublin Simon Community today revealed that an average of six household are becoming homeless each day in Dublin since the pandemic began as the charity launched its urgent Christmas Fundraising Appeal.

Funding from this appeal will ensure that the charity can continue to deliver homeless, housing and treatment services in Dublin, Kildare Wicklow, Meath, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan. Dublin Simon delivers a range of essential low threshold services to people experiencing homelessness and those in danger of losing their home.

The Christmas Appeal is launching at a time when more than 6,800 people are in emergency accommodation in the seven counties served by Dublin Simon Community, and most will be spending yet another Christmas without a home of their own. This Appeal particularly highlights the plight of the single homeless group, more than 3,300 of whom are expected to be in emergency accommodation for Christmas, with the simple message: No one should be homeless when Dublin is their home.

Senior Manager of Emergency Services at Dublin Simon Community, Claire McSweeney, said: Every Christmas the team at Dublin Simon Community works to create a special Christmas Day for all those who are homeless and especially the most entrenched rough sleepers. Our staff and volunteers make sure everyone has something to enjoy on the day. We have breakfast together, each person gets a present to open and we spend the afternoon playing board games and watching movies – I suppose we try to create what most of us take for granted about Christmas at home.

“People experiencing homeless find Christmas very hard, it can trigger bad memories such as childhood trauma, it makes them think about family they no longer see, very few even get to see their children. So we try to do everything we can to give them a bit of hope, a sense of connection and inclusion and to get them through the day. This year Christmas is going to be very different in our services due the restrictions and social distancing we all face but what I can assure you is that with the public’s support our staff and volunteers will make sure that every person in emergency accommodation, and all our services, will feel welcome, warmth and support to get them through this difficult Christmas, and of course to move out of homelessness for good.’’

Covid-19 and latest level 5 lockdown has caused the cancellation of Dublin Simon Community’s usual Christmas fundraising events and activities. This years Christmas Appeal will help to bridge this gap to ensure the continuity of essential services and supports for the homeless population through another cold and uncertain winter season.

The campaign delivers stories taken from the real experiences of people supported by Dublin Simon Community. Using words, songs and images, it brings to life the stark reality of being homeless in Dublin, or anywhere else at Christmas time. These stories have been brought to life in partnership with BBDO creative agency who donate their support for the charity’s Christmas campaign every year. In 2020 the campaign can be heard on radio and seen online along the east coast.

CEO Sam McGuinness said: “Christmas in Dublin is famous for its lively festivities, but this is not an experience shared by those who are homeless or struggling to maintain a tenancy. This year will be a Christmas like no other, but for those who are homeless nothing much changes until they secure a place to call home. At Dublin Simon Community we deliver support for those people who need us. We rely on the continued generosity of the public to provide us with essential funds to keep our doors, and the essential services that matter, open to everyone. I urge you to support Dublin Simon Community this Christmas to enable us to deliver support to those for whom the festive period is simply another reminder of their isolation and marginalisation.”

Please donate what you can at www.dubsimon.ie

 

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