Keep scrolling to read our journey to present day.
After research based on Simon Community London, the organisation was established under the name of “Simon Community Ulster”.
Premises found in Howard Street South. Hostile reaction from community means we have to leave.
Alternative premises found at 481 Antrim Road providing night shelter and short-term accommodation with 20 bed spaces.
Soup run starts.
Soup run proves difficult to maintain throughout the early “Troubles” – vehicle used for the soup runs is blown up.
The “Simon Community Ulster” becomes the “Belfast Simon Community”.
Alliance with Simon National Office Ireland ensures recruitment of volunteers to maintain the services at 481 Antrim Road.
We open a project accommodating up to 15 young people at 90/92 Cliftonpark Avenue.
Civil disturbance in the local area forces closure of 90/92 Cliftonpark Avenue. Residents are moved to 481 Antrim Road.
1974 Housing (NI) Order provides for the establishment of registered Housing Associations in Northern Ireland.
We are involved in establishing a Housing Association, which becomes known as Open Door Housing Association.
247 Cavehill Road purchased with proceeds from Queen’s Rag Week along with a donation from a supporter. This property provides long-term accommodation for five older residents.
We receive our first statutory funding from Eastern Health & Social Services Board.
Due to lack of funding, we temporarily close 247 Cavehill Road.
Launch of ‘Save Simon Campaign’ with articles in the press and a poster campaign.
We open an administration office on the Ormeau Road, Belfast.
We reopen 247 Cavehill Road.
A Team Leader, Administrator and Organising Secretary are appointed.
Tates Avenue opens.
Rushfield Avenue opens specifically as a Women’s Project.
Loans and donations mean we can buy a new house at 177a Cliftonpark Avenue.
We publish our first book, “The Northern Ireland Fundraising Handbook”.
We make representation to the Northern Ireland Assembly hearing on “Investigating Homelessness”. The hearings come out in favour of our aims and legislation is introduced.
The building of a 21 bed, short stay house at 186 Cliftonpark Avenue commences.
We change our name for a second time from “Belfast Simon Community” to “Simon Community Northern Ireland”.
We publish “No Place Called Home”, a book giving accounts of the lives and opinions of nine residents.
247 Cavehill Road is extensively refurbished and redecorated by Open Door Housing Association.
First Project located outside Belfast opens in Larne providing 21 bed spaces. Developed as a joint management project with Habinteg Housing Association.
We complete a Northern Ireland wide survey of homelessness and it indicates a need for emergency accommodation in 12 regional towns.
Housing (NI) Order is introduced placing statutory responsibility for homelessness with Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)
Funding provision for work with homeless people becomes the responsibility of the NIHE.
We set up ‘The Housing the Homeless Fund’ to raise capital funding.
Richard Needham, MP hosts a reception for Business Leaders at Stormont to raise awareness.
Newry Project opens – another joint venture with Habinteg Housing Association.
We open further projects at Coleraine, Derry City and Downpatrick.
Coleraine is established via a joint management agreement with Women’s Triangle Housing Association and the Londonderry & Downpatrick Projects are acquired with funding received from the Housing the Homeless Fund.
We open a Cluster Flat Scheme at 386 Falls Road, a joint venture with Open Door Housing Association.
Resettlement services are developed in Newry and Coleraine with the support of British Telecom.
‘Total Quality’ initiative launched.
Series of eight “Home Truths” research studies are published.
Marks & Spencer’s staff raise over Ł100,000 for our work, the largest ever, corporate donation in Northern Ireland at that time.
Referrals for temporary accommodation top the 2,000 mark.
We celebrate our 25th Anniversary Year.
A 21 bed, direct access Project opens at 414 Falls Road – in partnership with Ulidia Housing Association.
Satellite Projects are established in Derry City (a partnership with NW Housing Association) and in Downpatrick, Larne and Newry (in partnership with NIHE).
Saintfield Road Project opens, with 14 direct access bed spaces and 8 flats for the under 25’s – in partnership with BIH.
We open the first Foyer in Ireland, offering training and employment opportunities to 42 young homeless people aged 17-25 – in partnership with BIH.
A 21 bed direct access Project and five move-on flats open in Bangor – in partnership with BIH.
First Rent Guarantee Scheme piloted by Simon in partnership with NIHE.
Development of Education Strategy including an IT based resource for schools called “outhouse”.
Mount Street Mews, Coleraine, a partnership with Women’s Triangle Housing Association opens.
Rent Guarantee scheme extended to Bangor
Northern Ireland Assembly has its first debate on homelessness.
We celebrate our 30th and launch ‘Breaking the cycle of homelessness.’
Launch of ‘Most of Us are only four paycheques away from being homeless campaign.’
We get our first website.
Launch of NIHE Homeless Strategy
Outdoor Campaign – ‘I search nightly for a place to retire’ & ‘I’m sick of eating out’ launched
Floating Support Scheme starts in Belfast.
Building starts at Conway Street for family accommodation.
Outdoor Campaign ‘I am Homeless, no less a person.’
Newry Floating Support Services begin
First Homelessness Awareness Week takes place.
We launch ‘Engage’ training and employment Programme
Down & Lisburn Floating Support Service is launched.
Billboard Campaign – ‘As property booms the vulnerable get pounded’
We open Conway Court, Belfast Area in partnership with Oaklee Housing Association
We start refurbishment of Bondshill Project, Derry City in partnership with Ulidia Housing Association.
Launch of the Safe Moves Programme- a mentoring scheme funded by the Big Lottery for 13- 25 year olds.
Launch of North East Harm Reduction Services.
We partner with the Bytes Project. The Bytes Project received funding from Big Lottery to engage with disadvantaged unemployed and homeless, 16 to 25 year olds, with learning and education difficulties through the creative use of Information Communication Technology.
Launch of the Bill Board Campaign “It could happen to me‟.
Northstone “Safety Challenge‟ Corporate partnership is launched to help reduce the number of work related accidents to employees and sub contractors. For each accident, free location per quarter a donation is made to Simon Community NI.
The Department for Social Development “Including the Homeless‟ Strategy, publication of the work undertaken by the Steering Group. (We are represented in this group)
We adopt new Vision, Mission and Values Statements.
Organisation modernised to change the way we support our clients and how we provide services in the future.
Bondshill Project, North and North West area re opens after major refurbishment.
This means there is no longer any shared bedrooms within the organisations accommodation portfolio.