A long-serving staff member at Cork Simon Community has said he is proud to help people "along their journey of positive change from A to B".
Cork Simon, which works in solidarity with people who are homeless in Cork offering housing and support in their journey back to independent living, is marking 50 years in operation.
The charity is running '50 Faces of Cork Simon', a series spanning 50 weeks, to share stories of people connected with the organisation.
Phillip has met all walks of life coming through the doors of our #EmergencyShelter over 16yrs. “A little bit of patience goes a long way”,he says, reflecting on the importance of sharing time & the difference a cup of tea or coffee can make to breaking down walls & barriers pic.twitter.com/5Lfzyl1zzK— Cork Simon Community (@Cork_Simon) February 10, 2021
In the latest video in the series, Phillip O’Brien who has worked at the charity's Emergency Shelter for 16 years, speaks about his experience.
"I think everybody in this line of work will have a certain group of residents or presenting issues that they’ll work better with.
"Now obviously as part of the staff body here you engage with everybody, but for me, I suppose the group that I would probably work better with would be the older male drinkers.
"There are I suppose several common themes or threads in the pasts of that particular client group.
"A lot of it would have been relating to childhood trauma, family trauma. Several would have been in industrial schools and would have been in care systems.
"The common threads are essentially a lack of connection, a lack of coping skills to deal with all of that and therefore the alcohol comes in and then that’s a little bit too much that they can’t deal," Phillip explains.
He said time and "a little bit of patience" can go a long way in helping people.
"It [Cork Simon] is an organisation that I have great love for and great respect for on the basis of the way it treats people, the way that it sees homeless people as people with value and people who have potential.
"We are there to help, not to push, but to help people along their journey of positive change from A to B and if we can be a part of that I think that’s a very, very fulfilling role."
To watch the full video, visit Cork Simon's website.