For over 20 years Sophia has been providing homes with support to people who have experienced homelessness.
Sr Jean Quinn D.W, when she founded Sophia, recognised that central to providing these homes are the needs of the people who live in them. Jean’s holistic response, was about supporting the whole person.
Poverty, social exclusion, and the experience of being homeless can have a significant impact on people. Sophia provides safe and secure homes so that people can begin the journey of recovering from the impact of homeless and the insecurity of not having a home of one’s own.
Jean Quinn DW, John Lonergan, Minister for State Eoin Ryan T.D and Eamonn Martin turning the sod in our Cork St Project in 2001
If you are homeless, the key intervention you need is a home. When an individual, couple or family has the security of a home they can then be supported to address their other needs. These needs can include accessing education or reconnecting with family and friends or even receiving support with more complex needs.
Sophia believes that the homes it provides need to be psychologically informed, providing an environment that is welcoming, that conveys emotional warmth and clearly lets the person living there know that they are valued and enforces their human dignity.
Housing with Support
Our housing with support services work with families, couples and individuals. These services offer different levels of support depending on the needs of the people who live in them. Having person centred projects allows Sophia to tailor our supports and even have specialised projects that work with people who have experienced profound levels of social exclusion and trauma.
In Dublin we have services that work with, families who have lived in emergency accommodations such as hotels and hubs and now have homes that are built to meet their needs.
We have services, who 24 hours a day offer support to couples who have complex support needs. In 2019 this service was recognised as an example of European Best Practice in European-funded project, Dignity and Well-Being.
In our Cork St and Donabate Services' there is onsite childcare provided in our Nurturing Centres. Cork St also has an award-winning cafe which provides meals for some of Sophia's residents. There is a Wisdom Centre which has rooms for reflection, meetings and for therapies that are available to the community and general public.
In Cork one of our projects offers accommodation that supports men who are leaving prison and need to be supported in a home of their own.
Sophia is one of the largest providers of supported housing in Limerick, in Cork Sophia recently opened a number of new homes. We also provide supported housing in Clare, Kilkenny, Laois, Cork, and Sligo.
Planning for the Future
In the next three years Sophia will grow by 60 per cent, building hundreds of new homes across the Country. These new supported homes will give 546 people including 86 families with 172 children safe, secure permanent homes.
One of Sophia's upcoming projects will create 52 new homes in the heart of Portlaoise town centre.
The scheme brings together the Department of Housing, Laois County Council, the local parish and the Presentation Sisters utilising the former Sacred Heart Secondary School and surrounding lands.
The former convent, which is a protected structure and will be converted into three one-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments. Three new apartment blocks will be built onsite which will incorporate 23 two-bedroom apartments and 10 one-bedroom apartments along with four two-bedroom town houses.
The impact of such a development on the local community will go beyond providing much needed housing. The project will create a new public park and garden in the heart of the site and access to a proposed new ‘blueway’ which will link Portlaoise town centre with a large town park.
Sean McDermott St Project in Dublin
Sophia Cork St in Dublin
Sophia Tubbercurry, Sligo
Douglas St, Sophia Cork
Sophia Donabate in Dublin
Artists rendering of Sophia's future housing with support project in Portlaoise