The North West Simon Community has said that frontline services are under immense pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The homeless charity says that Covid-19 is putting many already vulnerable people at particular risk, including those who are homeless and those who are at risk of becoming homeless due to a sudden reduction in income.
The latest figures show that 80 people have been recorded as homeless in the north west, with 63 adults and 17 children living in emergency accommodation.*
Meanwhile, the number of ‘hidden homeless’ people sleeping rough or sofa surfing or sharing with family or friends is not known.
The Simon Communities in Ireland have launched an urgent appeal this week calling on those who can, to provide support for their vital services during the pandemic.
The North West branch offices and shop are closed and community fundraising events are suspended indefinitely, but housing staff continue to offer support and assistance to people across the region.
Outreach workers have seen a significant rise in calls from new clients seeking support at this time.
“There has never been a more pressing time for communities across the North West to show solidarity with one another. Now more than ever, we are being called upon to ‘look out for each other’, to be our best, and to show compassion,” said Collette Ferguson, Development Officer at North West Simon Community.
“I want to remind everyone that we are here for our community. If you yourself, or anyone you know, is at risk of homelessness, or in need of other supports contact us right away. Homelessness hasn’t gone away because of the Coronavirus, and together we can make sure that nobody is left to face either crisis alone.”
Noel Daly, General Manager of NW Simon Community said. “Homelessness hasn’t gone away because of the Coronavirus, and together we can make sure that nobody is left to face either crisis alone.
“We are maintaining daily contact with those who are most vulnerable, and staying in touch with all our other tenants and outreach clients, to ensure that people and families have everything needed to keep safe during this very difficult time. I also want to remind everyone that we are here for our community”.
If you yourself, or anyone you know, is at risk of homelessness, or in need of other supports contact us right away”. You can do so by completing a referral form at https://www.northwestsimon.ie/i-need-help-to-keep-my-home/ or by dialling 071 9147522 and leave a message.
North West Simon Community raises 79% of its operating income through public fundraising so COVID19 presents a challenge to our very survival. If you are in a position to support us at this difficult time for everyone, you can make an online donation at www.northwestsimon.ie/donate-now/, by post to 4 JFK Parade, Sligo, F91 PY50
*The most recent Government statistics for homelessness in the North West region of Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, show that 63 Adults and 17 Child Dependants were staying in Local authority managed emergency accommodation during the week 17 – 23 February 2020.