A word from Dublin Simon Community’s CEO Catherine Kenny

I’m honoured to announce that I will be assuming the role of CEO at Dublin Simon Community from today, October 1st.

It feels fitting that my first day in should coincide with our 39th annual flagship fundraising event, the Dublin Simon Home Run. Every year in the Phoenix Park, I am struck by the extraordinary lengths our staff, volunteers and supporters go to in arranging this spectacular fundraiser in aid of the vulnerable people who rely on our help. For me, the event serves as a visible reminder of who we are and why we do what we do; our vision, our mission, our values.

Having worked with the homeless community for more than 20 years, this vision is one I am deeply passionate about. While I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge, what I look forward to even more is the day I will be out of a job. For far too long, vulnerable people in our community have been pushed into homelessness. Frustratingly, this cohort has grown larger and larger as the housing crisis has snowballed over the last number of years.  It has grown even more challenging now as the cost-of-living crisis unfolds. We are currently in the midst of the worst homeless and housing crisis the country has ever seen, and this truly shakes me to my core.

Through my roles both on the frontline and as the Head of Property & Quality in Dublin Simon, I have shared in the joy of people who have been empowered to close their own front door behind them once and for all. Anyone who has had the privilege of handing keys to a person who had lost all hope that they would ever have a home again will know there is no better feeling.

While the challenge looms large, I feel confident in our ability to affect real change when I see the commitment of my team. I am lucky to now be leading some of brightest and best social care professionals, psychotherapists, nurses, addiction specialists and creative thinkers across the sector and I look forward to seeing the strides we will make in ending homelessness together.

Catherine Kenny
CEO, Dublin Simon Community