11 Aug 2022

Innovative Longford project has supported 14 people to move out of homelessness

Midlands Simon launch report on Longford Housing Service

Innovative Longford project has supported 14 people to move out of homelessness

Midlands Simon launch report on Longford Housing Service

A report will be launched today by Midlands Simon Community on their innovative supported housing project in Longford.

The innovative service has been up and running for 3 years and in that time has supported 14 people to move out of homelessness. 

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The service which was created with the support of Longford County Council, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the HSE took derelict apartments in the heart of Longford Town and refurbished them creating homes with support for people who had a history of homelessness.

The project has been a resounding success, with a 93% housing stability rate meaning that only one person supported in this service relapsed into homelessness. This stability rate far exceeds what would normally be expected in a similar service. 

Emma Keane the manager of the services noted, “Midlands Simon Community have progressed a model in Longford that exceeds the international standards in terms of outcomes.”

Speaking before the launch, Mark Cooney (Chairperson of the Voluntary Board of Directors of Midlands Simon Community) said: "This service is a partnership that works, bringing together Midlands Simon, Longford County Council and the HSE to support people with multiple support needs and who had a history of repeat homelessness to have a permanent home of their own.

"In 2018, then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D  visited this service  in Longford remarking at the time that the model of service delivery was one that could be replicated in other parts of the country. It was highlighted in the European Parliament by Mairead McGuinness who saw this unique Longford service as being an innovation that has been made to work in an Irish context. The apartments are also cost effective with a long term lease which is 20% lower than market rates."

Speaking in the foreword of the report John Brannigan Director of Services with Longford County Council, commended the work of Midlands Simon and wished the frontline workers and board members the very best in their future work in Longford. 

Support from the community

The project would not be possible without the additional support and fundraising done by the local community.

The Kiernan family of Kiernan steel have fundraised so that staff can work on site and give intensive supports to the people who live there.

In the report Midlands Simon Community thank the donors, sponsors and volunteers who make their work they do possible. Thanks was also expressed to the Longford Leader, media partners to the Longford People of the year awards, and to Shannonside FM, media partners for the Simon Sleepout. 

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