Sophia was founded by Sr Jean Quinn D.W in 1997. With the support of the Daughters of Wisdom Jean had researched approaches to homelessness for 2 years, with her research complete she founded Sophia. Soon after founding Sophia Jean was joined by Co-Founder Eamonn Martin, and working in partnership with both religious and laypeople they began the work of building Sophia.
Over the following years Sophia has been tailoring this unique model of support to respond to the different needs of people who have experienced homelessness in Ireland. Our focus has always been to help people recover from the trauma and stigma of homelessness, reducing not only social exclusion and poverty but also the health and social issues associated with living through the traumatic experiences of being without a home.
2001 Sophia moved to St. Joseph's Hostel, Cork Street donated by the Sisters of Mercy. Within 2 years Sophia was supporting families in 6 homes in Ballymun and had launched our project in Cork with 9 apartments in Sullivans Quay and 5 Apartments in Riverway, Leitrim St opening the following year. Also in 2004, Sophia’s project in Churchtown opened with six two bed apartments.
In 2005 Donabate opened offing support in 21 homes and our first Nurturing Centre, an innovative and unique supportive response to families who have experienced homelessness in Ireland. 12 months later working with Cluid and Hail, Sophia started our project in Tallaght. 6 years after moving to Cork St, the new project opened on the site of the former Mercy Sisters Convent and St Josephs Hostel. This saw the opening of our second Nurturing Centre, 49 homes and our Wisdom Centre. Also in this year Sophia grew our services in Cork, offering support to people in ten homes in Togher in Cork.
In 2008 Sophia began supporting people in Limerick and Sligo andfour years later Tubbercurry was officially opened. Our project in Sean McDermot St, offering homes to 18 couples with complex support needs opened in 2015.
In 2016 Sophia began its innovative collaboration agreement with Midlands Simon Community, aimed at attaining greater efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
By 2019, Sophia was supporting 1,034 people across Ireland, the first time the organisation had supported this number of people. This was an increase of 100% in the number of people we since 2016 (510 people were supported in 2016)