The Community was founded by Anton Wallich-Clifford in 1963 and is a registered charity. It has in the past had many branches in different parts of the country including Eire and people from the Simon Community created such organisations as Cyrenians, St. Mungos and Centre Point. Anton's vision for Simon was to reach out to homeless people, to be a movement of concern and by working as a community, to offer a radical alternative to institutional care. We still follow that philosophy today, offering a variety of services for homeless people.
We seek to work with those for whom no other provision exists and in a way that can give them back ownership of their lives. In the houses day to day support in a community environment with a family atmosphere offers an accepting and befriending framework in which human relationships can be nourished.
To ask someone to come from the streets into a community environment is to ask a great deal. Living in the community and adopting its inherent and specifically Simon values requires much thought and effort, often having to subordinate one's own wishes to those of the community. It is hard enough for the volunteers let alone the residents. On a few occasions in the past it has been possible to say that we were fully implementing Simon philosophy, that the community was working well and all were contributing. Most of the time we are a work in progress.
The homelessness of many people on the street is not merely a lack of housing. Society puts many demands on people, often excluding and refusing to accept those who do not conform to the rigid standards deemed as normal.
The Simon Community accepts people for who they are, rather than trying to tell people who they should be. When we make contact with homeless people we do so on their own terms and aim to live with them in a philosophy of love, tolerance, acceptance and self-help. For this reason we do not seek to rehabilitate people, but to give them the opportunity to think about their lives, what they want and provide them with some choices.
The Simon Community is appealing for support to continue its fantastic work supporting homeless people.
The work in The Simon Community is carried out by volunteers and residents living and working together as a community.
The trustees behind the Simon Community Charity