Simon Community issues Christmas appeal to help safeguard homelessness prevention and housing services

Homelessness and housing charity Galway Simon Community has issued a fundraising appeal ahead of Christmas in a bid to safeguard their homelessness prevention and housing services.

Galway Simon Community has supported 579 households so far this year, including 642 adults and 403 children.

But the charity says there are many others across the west of Ireland in need of their support.

CEO Karen Golden expressed concerns about the ongoing pandemic and said that the economic fallout is putting a lot of people in “very precarious and uncertain situations."

She elaborated: “The Covid-19 pandemic on top of the housing crisis has already had a devastating impact on people in our community.

"It has left so many people facing the nightmare of homelessness.

"With the pandemic still ongoing, we believe that we have yet to see the full effects of the extent of this crisis and we are anticipating an increase in demand for our services over the coming year.

"At the same time, our fundraising has taken a massive hit with the closure of our shops during lockdown, as well as the cancellation of many fundraising events.

"Our Christmas appeal is more important than ever now as we need to safeguard our services to ensure that we can be there for those in our community, for those who need our help."

Ambassador of Galway Simon’s Christmas Appeal, “Liam” (not his real name), has been supported by the charity over the last number of years.

He bravely shared his story and explained that Galway Simon Community saved his life.

“When I was 17, I left foster care and had nowhere to go, I was alone.

"By my early twenties, I had started to spiral into addiction, and this led to a relationship breakdown.

"A lot of my friends were in the same situation, but they had their parents and a home to rely on. I was couch surfing with various friends, but you can only do that for so long. I was homeless and I knew I needed help," Liam said.

“Thankfully I was introduced to Tom at Galway Simon Community and that’s when things started to get better.

"It was a bumpy road but Tom and the staff at Galway Simon have always believed in me, and been there for me.

"They helped me to deal with so many things in my life including getting sober, but best of all, they’ve helped me get somewhere that I can call home.

"I’m so grateful to Galway Simon Community. They believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. They saved my life," Liam added.

If you would like to support others like Liam this Christmas, please visit https://www.galwaysimon.ie or call 091 381828 to give a gift to Galway Simon Community today.

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