North West homeless charity at risk of closing before Christmas – Donegal Daily

The North West Simon community is set to close within months without urgent intervention, the government has been told.

The charity, which supports homeless people, is facing increased pressure due to a record number of clients.

Donegal independent TD Thomas Pringle has urged the government to fund the North West Simon community in the next budget. Speaking to the Tánaiste, he warned that the charity could fold before Christmas.

“Is this going to happen on your watch?” Deputy Pringle asked Minister Varadkar.

In July, the charity reported a huge jump the number of dependent children (22) in emergency accommodation and a record number of people in total (106) in the North West. This is the highest official level of homelessness ever recorded in the region. Thirty-three households were housed in Donegal/Leitrim.

More … than €300,000 is requested from local authorities in Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal to fund a pilot program for early intervention and prevention of homelessness.

Deputy Pringle said: “In January 2022, the North West Simon Community submitted proposals to provide homelessness prevention and awareness services in Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo to the three local authorities. If accepted and fully funded, the associated revenue, together with the funding agreed for the RTSS contract in County Donegal, would have put the NWSC in a stable financial position for the year.

The deputy said two directors and the CEO met with ministry officials in July, where officials repeated the standard explanation that the minister sets policy, the regional management group develops homeless service plans. shelter at the local level and the Ministry grants the funding requested.

Deputy Pringle said: ‘On this basis, it was asserted that the department saw no reason why North West Simon Homelessness Prevention Services would not be eligible for funding under section 10 of the Housing Act 1988, if included in the forthcoming North West Regional Homelessness. Action plan.

“However, when the discussion turned to the details of the current North West Simon community proposals, it was acknowledged that the department had raised questions about the rationale for a funding proposal submitted by the County Council of Leitrim.

“The implications of this recognition were quite significant. Firstly, it shows that the Department has determined what constitutes acceptable funding for a particular type of service, and secondly, the Department very clearly exercises a degree of control over service plans developed by individual local authorities that far exceeds the provisions described above. This belies the supposed independence of regional homeless forums.

“Again, it was emphasized that a funding proposal for such a project could only be considered by the ministry if submitted by the North West Joint Consultative Forum on Homelessness management group.

“However, the immediate hurdle to adopting this approach is that it would require the three local authorities to commit additional funding of over €100,000 for the pilot project over three years. The recognition that local authorities would have great difficulty allocating these additional funds is one of the main reasons why North West Simon developed the pilot project in the first place.

“The need for this service has never been greater, Tanaist,” the MP said.

Deputy Pringle said: “It is imperative that the Department fund the much needed development of the North West Simon service to ensure homelessness is tackled in all parts of the country.”

North West homeless charity at risk of closing before Christmas was last modified: September 16, 2022 by Rachel McLaughlin

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