Finalist category: Community Impact Award 2015
Community Impact Award, Winner, 2015
Set up in 1971, Simon Community Northern Ireland is the leading homelessness charity in Northern Ireland, providing a range of services for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.
Committed to ending homelessness in Northern Ireland, Simon Community run a homelessness prevention programme, 24hr helpline, accommodation and community support, and a harm reduction service. In November 2014 they launched SIMON (Support in my Own Neighbourhood), a free smartphone app that allows members of the public to pin point people sleeping rough, and connects them to Simon Community, who then support them by providing emergency accommodation. It also allows people who are at risk of losing their homes to locate support services across Northern Ireland.
Over winter the app was downloaded more than 500 times, and has provided a valuable service to people at risk, and those who are concerned about homelessness, in particular young people. Support is available not only to those who living on the streets, or at risk of, but those affected by ‘hidden homelessness’, like sofa surfing.