Simon Community

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A regular street cafe is run at St Giles in the Fields.
Community transport.

The Simon Community is a charity which helps homeless people, taking its name from Simon of Cyrene.[1] It was founded in 1963 by Anton Wallich-Clifford[2] who had encountered many homeless people while working for the Probation Service at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London. Wallich-Clifford was influenced by the work of Dorothy Day and her Catholic Worker Movement in the USA and his original vision was to establish a farm and community in Sussex but local protests prevented this and the organisation developed as a chain of houses and night shelters run by local volunteers. The Simon Community was co-founded by political activist Eddie Linden.[3]

A trust was established to manage the affairs of the charity but its administration was weak. Attempts were made to transform the organisation into a decentralised federation of homelessness bodies — the Cyrenian Federation and Homes for Homeless People.[1]

In Ireland the Simon Communities were founded by a group of Trinity College and University College Dublin students in 1969.[4] It now operates all over Ireland, but particularly in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk and Galway.[5] These organizations fund themselves by hosting a number of charity initiatives and events such as the Dublin Fun Run.[6] In 2009, Dublin Simon celebrated its 40th anniversary.[7]

Anton Wallich-Clifford died in 1978 but the original community continues where it is based and active in London.[8]

See also[edit]

  • St Mungo's — a large charity for the homeless founded by a Simon Community volunteer.


  1. ^ a b "Why one charity broke away from the Cyrenians". Third Sector. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Introduction". The Simon Community. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  3. ^ Cooney, John (13 May 2015). "Happy 80th birthday, Eddie Linden, poet, pacifist and Catholic atheist". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  4. ^ "A Living History". Simon Communities in Ireland. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  5. ^ "About Simon". Simon Communities in Ireland. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Dublin Simon Fun Run". Dublin Simon Community. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  7. ^ RTÉ (2009), Dublin Simon Community 40th Anniversary, Dublin Simon Community
  8. ^ Roger Courtney (2002), "The Simon Community", Strategic Management for Voluntary Nonprofit Organizations, Routledge, pp. 246–254, ISBN 9780415250238

External links[edit]