New pilot Simon project sees amazing results in tackling Longford homelessness

A new pilot project, aimed at tackling homelessness in the Shannonside region has achieved higher than anticipated results in taking people off the streets.

The Minister for Housing is in Athlone this afternoon to launch the results of the initiative by the Simon Community to tackle homelessness in Longford, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.

The scheme looked to support people with a history of sleeping rough and of the 28 people identified in the 12 months prior to their referral, 22 had a mental health diagnosis and with 7 of the 28 having a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

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However, following the Housing First project’s work, the 85% of the people who were supported to having a home of their own, remained out of homelessness and did not relapse back into homelessness.

Despite a minimum of resources, the Midlands Simon Community attained 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.