This week the Lord Mayor visited Sophia's Housing With Support Service in Cork St, Dublin 8. The Service provides supported housing to families couples and individuals who have experienced homelessness. On the same site there is a café providing meals to Service Users and also childcare facilities for families.
During her visit the Lord Mayor took time to speak with Staff and Residents of the Sophia service. Staff were able to go through the levels of support which they have been providing over the past 18 months of the pandemic ensuring people with complex support needs did not relapse back into homelessness.
The Lord Mayor noted “the commitment of the Sophia teams to support people who have experienced homeless across Dublin especially over the past 18 months should be commended”
The Lord Mayor also met with the Founder of Sophia, Jean Quinn who also praised the role that homeless service staff played “Sophia’s teams across the Dublin went above and beyond over the past 18 months, to meet not just the challenge of COVID-19 but more importantly the needs of those we support which were put into a stark spotlight over the past 18 months. By rising to meet those challenges our teams ensure that 99% of all those supported by Sophia maintained their home during the pandemic”
The Lord Mayor met with residents of the service who shared their experiences of being supported during the pandemic, in particular noting the role of that the green spaces and gardens of Sophia’s Service in Cork St played. These spaces allowed Service Users to have safe outdoor space throughout the most stringent times of the lockdown. During the past 18 month residents formed a gardening group which received a donation of flowers from Dublin City Council which were put to great use across the service.
While speaking with staff the Lord Mayor, spoke about the Sophia model of care, one which recognises the trauma that people have expe
rienced, the Lord mayor noted that;
““Sophia’s trauma informed approach to supporting people to recover from homelessness in homes of their own is to be admired. The model of support provided by Sophia is one that works. Providing a home with this type of approach can make a genuine positive impact on people’s lives”
Head of Services of Sophia Niamh Cullen also met with the Lord Mayor, where she highlighted the quality supports that Sophia provides with the support of the DRHE and HSE;
“Sophia prides itself on providing quality supports that are trauma-informed and are adapted from housing first. These supports value the person and support that person and that makes Sophia unique amongst homeless providers”.