Dublin Simon Community works to prevent and address homelessness in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath. We provide services at all stages of homelessness and enable people to move to a place they can call home. This research project will carry out a gender audit in our Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA). The findings will result in practical changes made to the service to improve the experience, in particular, of women who are homeless and staying with us.
Traditionally homeless services have tended to cater for single male adults as they make up the largest homeless population. However it is now widely researched and understood that women's experiences and pathways to homelessness vary from their male counterparts. Studies have found that current service models within homeless accommodation are at risk of marginalizing women's experiences and as a result unintentionally creating inequality in access to homeless services for women.
Our STA provides accommodation for 30 single men, women, and couples who are homeless. This research project will assist us in identifying best practice in the provision of services to women ensuring a gender sensitive homeless service. By assessing the degree and nature of gender equality in the service we will devise recommendations to ensure our services are equally experienced and accessible to men and women.
At any one time this service can cater for between 6-9 women. Long-term we hope to have an improved environment for female clients. We will adapt service infrastructure, practices, and policies to meet female clients' particular needs and promote equality of outcome. The project will also be used to inform service provision across Dublin Simon Community and other organisations in the sector further increasing the reach and benefit to female clients in homeless service provision.