Midlands Simon pilot scheme shows that homelessness can be ended

Findings of successful scheme launched today by Minister Eoghan Murphy

news reporter

Reporter:

news reporter

homelessness

The findings of a successful pilot scheme for a new Housing First service by the Midlands Simon Community will be launched today (Wednesday, September 13) by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.

The launch will take place in the Sheraton Hotel Athlone at 4.30pm. The pilot service, which is operated by the Midlands Simon Community, attained outcomes significantly above the national average.

The launch will take place in the Sheraton Hotel Athlone at 4.30pm. The pilot service, which is operated by the Midlands Simon Community, attained outcomes significantly above the national average.

Despite a minimum of resources, the Midlands Simon Community obtained successful outcomes of housing stability for 85% of the people who were referred to the service. This compares to the Dublin pilot, which attained results of 67%, a pilot with considerably more resources.

The pilot proved that with the correct model, in this case Housing First, people can move out of homelessness.

Mark Cooney, voluntary chairperson of the Midlands Simon Community, outlined that “these results are a major source of hope to the people we support, as well as our staff and volunteers. With the minimum of resources, an end to homelessness was found for people with a history of homelessness and for people that otherwise would be in shelters or sleeping rough.”

The pilot supported people with a history of rough sleeping. 22 of the 28 people were rough sleeping in the 12 months prior to their referral, while 22 of the 28 cases referred had a mental health diagnosis, with seven of the 28 having a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The Midlands Simon Community would now hope that the model will be seen by the Department of Housing as a successful model and it will be continued to be funded and expanded to help more people in the Midlands.