The Simon Communities launched their Closing the Door on Homelessness campaign. The charity, which is marking 50 years since its foundation in Ireland in 1969, has launched the campaign to tell the stories of people it has supported to close the door on homelessness. In the campaign, Simon Community clients will be sharing their experiences of the safety and security of closing their own front door behind them. In 2018, the Simon Communities ‘closed the door’ for more than 2,400 men, women and children across Ireland, helping them move out of homelessness and into a secure home.
Sam McGuinness, of Dublin Simon Community, said at the launch: “Over the past 50 years, Simon has served people fighting for survival and robbed of dignity. They were homeless, roofless and isolated and needed nourishment, shelter, acceptance and respect. Because of the commitment of volunteers, staff, supporters, funders and members of the public, in the months, years and decades that passed, thousands of shattered lives have been rebuilt and saved. People are depending on us nationally and it is because of all our work that we can support people to get back on their feet, to rebuild their lives with Simon by their side. We need the public’s continued help and support.”
He added: “At Simon we continue to protect those who are at their most vulnerable and help them change the course of their lives by providing the physical door to a home of their own. We are helping people to close the door on the mental strain of homelessness, on fear, insecurity, addiction or ill-health.”
Karen Golden of Galway Simon Community, who attended today’s launch, said: “For 50 years the Simon Community, an established, trusted and impactful organisation whose primary objective is to move individuals and families out of homelessness, has supported those experiencing homelessness to find a place that they can call home. The end goal remains the same today as it was in 1969, ‘making home a reality’.”
Jackie Bonfield of Midwest Simon Community said: “The Simon Community is encouraging the public to reflect on and identify with what it feels like to close the door behind them in their home. This is a simple, everyday practice that many of us take for granted.”
The campaign aims to bring the public to the final step of a person’s journey out of homelessness and into their own home. Simon hopes to raise awareness of the experience of homelessness and how they are helping people find somewhere safe they can call home.
Creative, media and public relations agencies involved in the campaign have donated their services for free.