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Simon Communities of Ireland

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  1. Simon Communities of Ireland Presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and ChildrenHealth and Homelessness Nov 16th 2010

  2. Overview Introduction Current Situation National Health Snapshot Study 2010 What is needed Budget 2011 Appendices Believe in People

  3. Current Situation The Way Home – good strategy, implementation is slow. Clear govt. commitments, main focus is housing not clear how other needs will be met. Delays in access to appropriate housing. Risk factors for homelessness on the increase e.g. poverty, unemployment etc - a whole new generation at risk. Contracting budgets across the public sector including hospitals & prisons will have a knock on effect users of Simon services. Budgetary cuts across government departments/agencies are having a impact on the Simon Communities services. Believe in People

  4. National Health Snap Shot Study First time undertaken in July 2010 with all 8 Communities Total sample population 788. 78% male & 22% female. Age profile: 70% aged between 36 and 75 years of age 42% aged between 46 and 75 years of age 26% aged between 56 and 75 years of age. Believe in People

  5. Physical and Mental Health 56% experience at least one diagnosed physical health condition. 52% experience at least one diagnosed mental health condition. 1 in every 4 has a medical diagnosis of depression. 28% experience a diagnosed physical health condition AND a diagnosed mental health condition. Believe in People

  6. Alcohol and Drug Use 66% use alcohol, with 38% experiencing complications arising from their alcohol use(memory loss, falls, head injuries). 38% use drugs. 15% are intravenous drug users. 31% report using more than one drug (poly drug use). Suspected dual diagnosis: 28% experience a diagnosed mental health condition AND reported complications arising from alcohol and/or drug use. Believe in People

  7. Self harm and Suicide 15% self harm. 23% Suicide ideation. 8% (56 people) attempted suicide in the last 6 months. Believe in People

  8. What this study tells us? Homelessness is about health as well as housing. It is also about many related needs (complex needs). Critical that people who are homeless have access to mainstream AND specialist services. Essential to provide housing with supports AND high support housing. Believe in People

  9. What is needed Specifically related to health and homelessness Improve access to health care for people with many related needs (complex needs). Drug and alcohol services must be extended including detoxification, rehabilitation & harm reduction services. Maintain existing specialist services. Expand into areas where they are needed, complimenting mainstream services e.g. community detox, Adult Multi-Disciplinary Teams, in-house harm reduction services (Safetynet). Believe in People

  10. What is needed Specifically related to health and homelessness Roll out of Primary Care Teams /Primary & Social Care Networks nationally. Ending inappropriate discharge practice Access to housing with supports (low, medium & high support). High support housing for those who need it. Innovative, creative & targeted responses. The Simon Communities have excellent examples. Believe in People

  11. Budget 2011 It is critical that budget lines for homelessness are maintained at the very least at current levels. Specifically the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government budget and the Health Service Executive budget. No more cuts for local Simon Communities providing essential services all around the country. Believe in People

  12. Conclusion The Simon Communities have been providing local responses to local issues in Ireland for more than 40 years. Simon services include soup runs, emergency shelters and outreach to day centres and primary care; drug and alcohol treatment to long-term supported housing; prevention & tenancy sustainment and settlement services to training and employment projects. Simon is perfectly placed within local communities to deliver on the challenge of meeting the many related health needs of people who are homeless (complex needs). Innovative thinking & working in partnership will go along way towards achieving this. Believe in People

  13. Thank You & Questions Believe in People

  14. Simon – the homelessness charity Appendix 1 a The Simon Communities throughout Ireland provide the best possible care, accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk. Together, with people who are homeless, we tackle the root causes, promote innovative responses and urge the government to fulfil their commitments. Simon delivers support and services to between 4,500 and 5,000 individuals and families who experience - or are at risk of - homelessness on an annual basis. Believe in People

  15. Simon Communities of Ireland Appendix 1 b The Simon Communities of Ireland is an affiliation of local Communities in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East. The National Office Role: coordinating campaigning in the areas of housing/homeless policy and the wider poverty and social inclusion agenda promoting best practice in service delivery and working with people who are homeless promoting excellence in full time volunteering and providing accredited training. Believe in People

  16. Simon Communities in Ireland Appendix 2: The Simon Communities deliver support and services to between 4, 500 and 5,000 individuals and families who experience, or are at risk of, homelessness on an annual basis. Services and projects are responding to the needs in their locality thus no two Simon Communities are the same. Services range from soup runs, emergency shelters and outreach to day centres and primary care; drug and alcohol treatment to long-term supported housing; prevention & tenancy sustainment and settlement services to training and employment projects. Believe in People

  17. Why People become Homeless Appendix 3: There are a range of factors which can lead to a person becoming homeless which can be divided into the following: Structural Causes: poverty, unemployment and a lack of quality, affordable and appropriate housing. Institutional Causes: people who have been living in; foster care and in state care, prison or in mental health institutions, hospital on a long-term basis or in the armed forces. Relationship Causes: abusive relationships, family breakdown or a death. Personal Causes: people with mental health issues, learning, difficulties and problems with drug and alcohol use. Generally it’s a combination of factors Believe in People

  18. National Health Snap Shot Study Appendix 4: What is a Snap Shot A snapshot is a ‘point in time’ picture during a particular sample time period, in this case one weekJuly 26th to August 1st 2010. Focus the profile and health needs of some of the people using using Simon projects and services during the week in question. The study sample 788 is a significant sample of people who use Simon projects and services and thus can be used as a basis to generalise about their health and support needs. Findings are indicative rather than diagnostic. Believe in People