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Tag Archives: Mid West Simon

Simon’s plan to house Clare’s single homeless people

Clann Nua project had successful trial in Limerick AN innovative project aimed at tackling an accommodation shortage for single homeless people has been introduced to Clare. Mid-West Simon Community over the past few weeks has worked with Clare County Council to introduce the Tenancy Sustainment project throughout Ennis. Clann Nua meaning New Family was developed by Mid-West Simon Community in response to the shortage of single unit property which is resulting in single people having to remain in emergency accommodation for longer than necessary. Jackie Bonfield, CEO of Mid-West Simon Community said, “Clann Nua provides the opportunity for two or more previously homeless people to share one permanent rental housing unit. “These are acquired through CAS/RAS funding or through the Clare County Council long-term social lease with a private landlord.” Mid-West Simon started the initiative in the summer of 2020 with the backing of Limerick City and County Council and showing great success the programme is now being rolled out …

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Mid West Simon appeal response “phenomenal”

AN appeal to support homeless people in Clare and other parts of the Mid West has had a “phenomenal” response according to organisers. Mid West Simon joined forces with Bus Éireann recently with a ‘Fill a Bus’ appeal, seeking contributions for the vulnerable, homeless and those at risk of homelessness in Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary this Christmas. More than 1,000 items were donated to fill bus parked up in Limerick last Thursday. The ‘Fill a Bus Food Appeal’ has been a “fantastic success” according to Jackie Bonfield, CEO of Mid West Simon. “The response from the people of Limerick has been phenomenal and the bus was filled to the brim with basic food staples, Christmas treats, toiletries and household goods. I would like to sincerely thank all those who contributed and especially to Bus Éireann staff for organizing this wonderful initiative and for helping out on the day. Please know that many adults and children have benefited from the …

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Deputy Wynne pledges to donate €12,000 rent arrears to charity

POLL-topper Violet-Anne Wynne has pledged to donate her estimated rent arrears of €12,000 to a mental health charity following her eviction from social housing a few years ago. The Kilrush-based mother-of-five created a political sensation by becoming the first Sinn Féin candidate to win a Dáil seat in almost 100 years after securing 8,987 first preferences in the General Election. Rural Resettlement Ireland (RRI) took a case against Violet-Anne Wynne and her partner John Montaine to respond to a claim notice issued for the sum of €12,126 being the amount of four years’ rent arrears up to June 3rd, 2016, according to court documents. RRI were granted a decree for the repossession of one of their dwellings in Tullycrine, Kilrush by Ennis District Court on July 28, 2017 with a two month stay. A weekly rent of €63.64 was set under a letting agreement dated December 1, 2011 and the family remained in the Tullycrine house until December 2017. Ms …

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Local charities urged to avail of EU food

Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty has urged local charities to avail of the food products that are made available for people in need, through the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD). The Minister was on a visit to the FoodCloud Hubs facility that stores such food products and manages their distribution. She met with representatives of a number of charities that already avail of the EU initiative through FEAD and heard their views on its benefits for financially disadvantaged people. The total value of FEAD up to 2020 in Ireland is €26.7m, €4 m of which comes from the Irish Exchequer. Almost two-thirds of the funding is applied to the provision of food with the remaining going to the provision of basic material assistance. Minister Doherty said, “In addition to the provision of food aid, my department is working with partner organisations to deliver basic material aid. For example, using FEAD funding, the Mid-West …

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Simon helps double income familes

MID West Simon, who operate food banks in Ennis and Kilrush, said double income families are increasingly availing of their services. In addition, 550 people in the county are having some or all of their food supplied by the food banks. Mid West Simon general manager, Jackie Bonfield, told The Clare Champion that families with students about to attend third level are amongst those who are now using food banks and she is encouraging people in similar circumstances to also do so. “In recent months, we have had a number of double and middle income families, with both parents working, getting in touch with us. This is particularly relevant at the moment because families who have teenagers about to start at third level are feeling the financial strain. People who are finding it difficult to manage rent, mortgage repayments and other bills are often double income families,” Jackie Bonfield revealed. “We have recently secured food with long shelf-life and we …

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Crumbs of comfort for hard-pressed families

Mid West Simon has launched an emergency food appeal after it emerged that some families in Ennis and Kilrush were struggling to put food on the table. The charity told The Clare Champion that they “urgently need support in order to maintain our vital food banks in Ennis and Kilrush for families under severe financial pressure”. Mid West Simon general manager, Jackie Bonfield, said people who cannot pay for food are sometimes too embarrassed to ask for help. “It is difficult to understand how food poverty can be experienced by families or individuals in Clare but the facts are so clear. People are suffering behind closed doors and are often too ashamed to ask for help. Low incomes, high rents, high mortgage payments and increasing utility bills are forcing people to choose between food and bills,” she revealed. The most recent CSO statistics indicate that over 15% of the population is at risk of poverty, with more than 8% living …

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Simon: Lack of services a hinderance

SINCE establishing a base in Kilrush earlier this year, Mid West Simon has come across what it describes as serious addiction issues, social problems and housing concerns in the town. Tracey Reddy, accommodation team leader with Mid West Simon, which covers Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, said a lack of services in the town is a hindrance to people looking for help. Highlighting the organisation’s three-day 72km Simon’s Way fundraising trek across Clare on the weekend of September 25 to 27, Tracey noted the fundraising sleep-out held in Kilrush GAA field last year was very well supported by people in the town. In her role, Tracey tries to help people to cope if they are rendered homeless or are under threat of losing a place in which to live. “My job is to oversee the accommodation of Mid West Simon services. It is everything from supporting people who are living in our units, to meeting people who find themselves either …

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The big sleep out for Simon in Kilrush

IN an effort to raise awareness of the escalating threat of homeless in the region, the Mid West Simon Community held a sleep out at Kilrush GAA Club last Friday night. Thirty five people took part by sleeping in a box, which formerly held a fridge or a washing machine, while some opted to sleep in an army-style tent. Each participant has until the end of October to raise €250 for the Mid West Simon Community. While organisers were grateful to everyone who raised money, Geraldine Lambert, chairperson of Board of Directors of Mid West Simon Community, stressed that increasing awareness of the spectre of homelessness is equally important. “Just as important is raising the awareness. It could be a neighbour, a friend or a work colleague. Somebody that you wouldn’t expect to be going throught a trauma. It’s good to be able to say to them ‘why don’t you give Mid West Simon a ring and see if you …

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