Belfast Telegraph

Simon Community NI launch app to help homeless find support

By Kirsten Elder

An app, the first of its kind in the UK, will empower local people to help the most vulnerable in our community, those who are homeless

‘Support My Own Neighbourhood’ is an app that allows easy access to homelessness services in a chosen area.

This project will help encourage the public to help tackle the issue of homelessness in their area.

Jim Dennison, Chief Executive of The Simon Community, said:

“Simon Community is proud to have led the development of this innovative application, which is the first of its kind.

“The S.I.M.O.N app is an easy-to-use tool with the potential to improve a great many peoples’ lives. It is a shining example of collaborative working between the homelessness sector, the Housing Executive and the commercial sector.

“For the first time, those concerned about the well-being of people in need can take action and direct them straight to the services they require.”

The app provides direct access to the homeless person or provides information to the public who may have a concern of individuals in their area.

They will now easily be able to make a referral to services or report a risk it they are worried about someone.

The app has five tabs showing the location of services, including The Simon Community accommodation, Housing Executive offices, hostels, floating support providers, housing and gateway teams, help, emergency provisions, food banks and local transport.

The mobile app is collaboration between The Simon Community Northern Ireland and the Housing Executive.

Launched last week in Stormont, The Simon Community Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland’s Assembly charity of the year, providing 24/7 support for the homeless.

Anne Sweeney, Assistant Director of the Housing Executive’s Supporting People, said: “This app empowers all of us, individually and collectively, to help those who, for whatever reason, are without a roof over their heads.

“The Housing Executive is delighted that in supporting Simon, our delivery partner, we have embraced the use of cutting edge technology to address the needs and find solutions for the most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods.”

“This intuitive piece of digital technology represents the best of partnership working between the Housing Executive and the Simon Community.”

Last year 33,000 people called The Simon Community helpline on 0800 171 2222, with homelessness on the increase this could really help make a difference to someone’s life.

For more information please visit www.simoncommunity.org, or download the app on the App Store, available for iPhone or Andriod.

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