Our Approach to Homelessness

At Good Shepherd Cork we work with women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We welcome women of all backgrounds, ages and stages of life.

Our work is grounded in our belief in social justice and equality. We address the root causes of homelessness and social exclusion and aim to break the cycle of homelessness through generations.

Edel House

Every night in Cork there 45 -50 homeless women and children resident in Edel House, our emergency shelter. Our staff work with women, empowering them to return to independent living as soon as possible. With our help 80% of the women that who seek shelter at Edel House move on within 3 months of admission.

Edel House is the only homeless shelter in Cork that can admit children. We can accommodate 10 families and 18 single women.

Our shelter is full every night. In 2015, we supported 206 women and 81 children out of homelessness. However, in the same year, the housing crisis and demand for our services, meant that we turned away 375 women and 281 children.

Many of the women we cannot accommodate end up isolated, living in hotels and B&Bs. In response to this, Good Shepherd Cork now employ an outreach worker, based at Edel House, who engages directly with these women.

When a woman is admitted to Edel House, she is assigned a key worker who will assess her needs before implementing a detailed personal care plan. If necessary, this worker will advocate and liaise with statutory and voluntary agencies on her behalf, to ensure the best solutions are found.

During their stay, residents are linked in with educational and social programmes to maintain self-esteem and build self- confidence and morale. Our staff team, assisted by volunteers, provide a range of social activities and classes throughout the year.

We have a play therapist based at Edel House and children spend time with her on a one to one and in a group basis.

We have recently lodged an application for planning permission and hope to rebuild parts of Edel House in order to improve our accommodation for homeless women and children.

Edel House is a self-referral establishment. Referrals can also be made by other agencies both statutory and voluntary.

For further information, contact us at:
Edel House
Grattan St.
E: edelhouse@goodshepherdcork.ie
T: 021 427 4240

Residential Care for Teenage Girls

Good Shepherd Cork provide Residential Care for teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19, who are out of home.

Our goal is to help girls achieve greater resilience and wellbeing. Key workers engage on a one to one basis with each girl to help them to resolve issues and to move on to independent living or to return to their families, whichever is most appropriate.

Girls who are in Residential Care will often access our other services, such as support and advocacy, or education and training programmes to gain the skills and support they need through education, life skills, advocacy and social support.

When girls are ready to move on, if they are not returning to the family home, staff work with statutory and voluntary bodies to find suitable accommodation. Once girls have moved on they still have access to a range of Good Shepherd Cork support services to ensure their continued wellbeing.

For further information, contact us at:
E: residentialcare@goodshepherdcork.ie
T: 021 430 4205

Supported Housing

At Good Shepherd Cork, we provide supported housing for women who may not otherwise be able to sustain a tenancy. Our service offers quality accommodation to single adult women in a safe and nurturing community.

Security, support and care is offered to those who are in vulnerable situations or living with issues such as mental health or addiction difficulties. While women are encouraged to achieve the fullest independence possible, the availability of multiple supports as well as the reassurance of human contact, if required, is ever present.

The importance of developing interests, hobbies and maintaining personal wellbeing is also taken into account with a “Wellness, Response, Action Plan” which is incorporated into residents’ lives in the form of visits to cinema, concerts, walks and picnics as well as practical mechanisms for coping with triggers for crisis.

The community comprises thirty-six single residential units (bungalows) and one two-bedroom unit situated within a gated complex. Eleven of these are occupied by Good Shepherd sisters and twelve by retired residents. Nineteen adults and one child have taken up residence in Long-term Supported Housing since 2012. At present the age range is between 20 and 78.

Referrals are usually internally from other sections of Good Shepherd Cork, but may also come from other services.

For further information, contact us at:
E: supportedhousing@goodshepherdcork.ie
T: 021 4551200


Education and Development

Good Shepherd Cork’s Education & Development programme offers fresh educational opportunities to women who for a variety of reasons are unable to access mainstream education. Our approach is to place an equal emphasis on personal as well as educational development.

Our teaching staff concentrate on the needs of the individual and on finding ways to engage beyond the traditional classroom approach. Often the girls and women who attend our courses are living very chaotic lives, in such situations even achieving two hours of attendance a week can be a huge achievement.

Our programmes, which are aimed at girls and women aged from 16 to 35, cater for the range of needs that different learners may present. Full time, part time and drop in classes are available.

All programmes encourage learners to explore new possibilities in life, broadening horizons, opening up opportunities and encouraging aspiration. The learning environment is person centred and holistic, and classes are offered in the following areas: Art, Design & Crafts; Baking; Basic Literacy; Career Planning & Work Experience; Computers; Communications; Childcare; Healthy Eating; Mathematics; Personal Effectiveness; Sexual Health & Wellbeing; Nail Art; Gardening; Understanding Inter-culturalism.

For further information, contact us at:
E: education@goodshepherdcork.ie
T: 021 439 7314

Support and Advocacy

Our Support and Advocacy team tailor their services to meet the individual needs of each woman and child as they progress to sustainable independent living.

Support and Advocacy workers actively involve women in decision making and planning, providing practical and emotional support as well as links to other appropriate services.

At Good Shepherd Cork we know that the impact of homelessness is not solved by a house alone. Women who have experienced homelessness have been through a trauma, they have ongoing needs and are often living alone with little or no family support. Without support as they move to independence, many women find that loneliness and social isolation can set in, previous physical and mental health issues, habits and behaviours can resurface, and sustaining a tenancy can become impossible.

Activities and drop in sessions are regularly held in our Support and Advocacy and provide a social focus for women to support each other as well as to access Good Shepherd Cork staff.

For further information, contact us at:
E: advocacy@goodshepherdcork.ie
T: 021 427 3890

Wellness Recovery Action Plan, or WRAP

WRAP is used throughout our services as a support to overcome the daily challenges of living. Staff are trained in the delivery of this programme and use it to inform and inspire their professional practice.

WRAP training helps participants to identify their personal strengths and resources and to gain experience and aspiration beyond the chaos in which they live.

Participants design a “Wellness Toolbox” and develop Action Plans to enable them to deal with challenging situations and to maintain wellness on a day to day basis.

Our new family hub service, Redclyffe, provides emergency accommodation to families (men, women and children), who are experiencing homelessness in Cork. Redclyffe can offer accommodation for up to 17 families who would previously have stayed in in emergency B&B or hotel accommodation. In Redclyffe, families have their own room and share communal facilities such as cooking, laundry, living room and playroom.

Our goal is to empower families to exit homelessness and ultimately move on to safe, secure and dignified housing. Families are supported to realise this through trusting relationships with Re-Settlement Workers and Childcare Workers who facilitate families accessing any supports needed, and as identified by them and their keyworker.

Families are referred to Redclyffe through Cork City and County Council and in conjunction with Good Shepherd Cork B&B Outreach Team.