Simon Community expands with “safety net” service

The homeless charity, the Simon Community, has expanded its services in South Tipperary to include a weekly drop-in clinic for young people who have left the State care system.

The homeless charity, the Simon Community, has expanded its services in South Tipperary to include a weekly drop-in clinic for young people who have left the State care system.

The South East Simon Community’s new drop-in clinics for young people aged between 17 and 23, who have left residential care, take place at its centre at No. 2 Brighton Place, Clonmel (opposite Oakville Shopping Centre) on Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm.

South East Simon Community began to work with young people leaving care and those who had left care in 2011 to help prevent them becoming homeless.

This work was carried out in conjunction with the HSE, as some Irish studies have identified being in care, especially in residential care, as a potential pathway into homelessness.

“We have a housing-led approach, where the accommodation is identified and the supports are put in place to assist the care leaver to maintain their home. Our core aim is to empower young people to live a full and independent life,” said Lorraine Shute, Acting Operations Manager of the South East Simon Community.

The charity’s after-care service to young people who are leaving or have left care includes help to source and secure accommodation, advocacy and advice on income support and entitlements and advice/support on educational and training opportunities.

The after-care service also helps young people to identify job opportunities, provides advice on personal health care, life skills training, home management skills training and help with preparation for leaving care.

Anyone who has been through the care system is eligble to access this service.

“When most young people leave home they call back or visit on a regular basis. If they have a problem or issue they can discuss it at home and find solutions,” said Ms Shute.

“Young people leaving care are less likely to be able to do this. By opening our clinic for a dedicated time each week the South East Simon Community are endeavouring to be that safety net, to be there at a time and place when those who need the service know that someone is there to offer support, advice and a friendly ear to listen,” she added.

For further information about this service please contact Elaine on (085) 8512126.