Simon proposes the establishment of a coordinated action group on homelessness.
The Simon Hostel at Lower John Street in Cork is in a state of disrepair. A £15,000 redevelopment of the building is due to commence in the spring. New facilities will include a new day centre providing homeless people with somewhere to go during the day. At present, many homeless people spend the day at the city bus station and at the city library.
The Simon Hostel catered for 300 homeless men last year. Its nightly soup run looks after others who sleep rough.
The annual Simon report claims that the rich and powerful care little for the homeless. It is also critical of doctors in the general medical service who it says show a lack of understanding towards the homeless.
The report says that Simon is cooperating more with other organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society which runs a hostel for the homeless on Merchant's Quay housing around 70 to 80 men each night.
The Simon report proposes the establishment of an action group for the homeless comprising all voluntary organisations working in the field.
Chairman of Simon in Cork, Brendan Ryan, identifies a lack of communication and coordination between charities and organisations working with the homeless in Cork. He feels there is a need for organisations to understand each others work and to set objectives to provide basic services to homeless people.
The group would coordinate political pressure on local and national authorities to produce extra services to meet the great needs of homeless people. Brendan Ryan says that the medical service displays a lack understanding of what it means to live in a night shelter or hostel. They work on the assumption that people live in comfortable surroundings with a home to live in, a bed to sleep in and somebody to look after them. This is not the situation for people availing of the services provided by Simon.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 February 1978. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.