Dr Dermot Kavanagh has been chosen as Cork Person of the Month for the month of December for his decade long leadership as Director of the homelessness organisation, Cork Simon. His work with the organisation has entailed a 24hr service, servicing approximately 1000 people a year, all with a view to ending the cycle of homelessness in Cork. Dermot’s name will now be included for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at the Awards Gala in January of next year.
The Cork Simon Community has been offering shelter and support for people experiencing homelessness in Cork for over 50 years. Dermot Kavanagh has been a prominent force in the organisation’s work since his arrival, involved in such initiatives as the Cork Simon Community Young Writers Awards, and most importantly in the organisation’s essential services including: addiction treatment and aftercare, providing housing and employment, providing emergency accommodation and emergency support services for the homeless, and more.
“Simon believes that everyone that calls Cork home should have a home”, said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan, “and Simon has indeed been one of the most loved and admired organisations in the city since it was founded in 1971”
In addition to their essential services, the organisation offers a range of personal development courses. These include Employment and Training, Job Placement, Women and Homelessness, and Making Positive Changes – courses which are underpinned by key aspects of the organisation’s vision such as Empowerment and Recovery, and Social Role Valorisation.
Dermot completed a B.A and M.A in Psychology at University College Cork, proceeding to complete a Ph.D in Social Sciences at the same. He worked for the non-profit, Merchants Quay Ireland, for 13 years before joining Cork Simon as its Head in 2011.
“I want to thank our volunteers for sharing their life skills and experience at every level, from helping to fundraise to spending one-to-one time with residents” said Dr Kavanagh at the award presentation. “I believe together we are making a difference”, he said.
Dermot Kavanagh’s name now goes forward, with the other Persons of the Month chosen this year, for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 21st next.