Tag Archives: Simon

9037631590376314Jessica Walsh (top) and with architect Dermot Bannon (above)

Would you like to talk about your dream home with a professional.

And help the homeless.

Mark writes:

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Simon Communities launched their eleventh annual RIAI Simon Open Door today.

Architects nationwide will offer one hour consultations to the public for a donation of €55 every cent of which goes directly to the Simon Communities in Ireland. To date, €400,000 has been raised by the Irish public and architects.

book your one-hour consultation with an RIAI Registered architect in your area HERE. All architects give their time and expertise for free. RIAI Simon Open Door will take place over Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10.

Who designed the house (top) anyone??

 Simon Open Door

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9/10 Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin 2 and a letter sent to Dublin City Council objecting to proposals to open a Dublin Simon Community shelter for the homeless at the address

After reading the letter, Adam Ó Braonáin writes:

“Firstly the letter makes reference to the Simon Communities methadone program and safe needle advice services, provided as part of their emergency service framework.”

“It is no secret that Ireland has seen year on year increases in drug related issues and Simon are part of a larger network of organisations offering support and advice for addicts. Emergency units like the one currently on Harcourt St. provide support for those whom are attempting to battle the disease of addiction.”

“It is also important to note the other in-house services provided at Simon emergency locations, such as – Key working and care planning; life skills programme including group work and classes; service user participation programme; social programme, i.e. outings and in-house events; a nurse is available five days a week providing primary health care and health promotion, vaccinations, blood tests, family planning advice, smear tests and other health services; a doctor is available weekly at an in-house clinic; and a visiting counselling service.”

“These cover physical and mental health care, education and social inclusion all of which can viewed as critical to the preservation of life. If you feel that I am over exaggerating, I invite you to speak with a current or former service user, who have often told me, Simon saved their life.”

“Despite this proposed facility having the capacity to provide such a valuable service, the letter describes the establishment of this new unit as a “horrific scenario” where “all manner of person will be seeking a bed for the night”.”

“All manner of person? I assume they are referring to citizens, human beings, with hearts and minds! They say this will lead to a concentration of homeless people in the area, some of them drug users. The reality is that drug abuse is all around us. The substances which are being abused differ certainly. Some substances have more severe effects than others, but regardless, they are to be found in every walk of Irish life.”

“This is borne out in the figures. A recent report from the Health Research Board shows that deaths related to drug abuse have risen from 432 in 2014 to 633 in 2012 totalling 5,289 in the nine year period. This shows that the need for the services offered at facilities such as Simon on Harcourt St. which this new centre will replace, are ever increasing and as such should have the support of the community.”

“The letter also claims that the shelter will “drive residents and businesses out of the area resulting in once occupied premises being left vacant”. If vacant premises are indeed a bone of contention for residents and business owners then one would think that the utilisation and refurbishment of 9 and 10 Fitzwilliam St. would be viewed as a positive development, given that these buildings are currently vacant and in disrepair.”

“For me, this scenario is quite typical of some sections of society. You can sleep in doorways and shoot up in a dark entry on Fitzwilliam street, so long as you remain on the margins of society and out of sight. But sleep in a bed? Have your medical needs met? In full view, for us all to acknowledge and accept? Not a chance!”

Homelessness: Be part of the solution, not part of the problem (Adam Ó Braonáin)