A man who has helped spearhead Cork Simon Community's fight against homelessness has been honoured for his efforts with the latest Cork Persons of the Month award.
Dr Dermot Kavanagh's choice as the winner of the December award comes in his 10th year as Cork Simon director and as the organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Cork Simon has been offering shelter and support for people experiencing homelessness in the region since its foundation in 1971 and Dr Kavanagh has been a prominent force in the organisation’s work since his appointment as director.
He has been involved in such initiatives as the Cork Simon Community Young Writers' Awards, and most importantly in the organisation’s essential services.
These include addiction treatment and aftercare, providing housing and employment as well as emergency accommodation and emergency support services for the homeless.
In addition to their essential services, the organisation offers a range of personal development courses. These include employment and training and job placement.
“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.” Dr Kavanagh said at the award presentation.
Awards organiser Manus O'Callaghan said Cork Simon believes that everyone who calls Cork home should have a home.
“It has indeed been one of the most loved and admired organisations in the city since it was founded in 1971,” he said.
Dr Kavanagh completed a BA and MA in Psychology at University College Cork, proceeding to complete a Ph.D in Social Sciences. He worked for the non-profit, Merchants Quay Ireland, for 13 years before joining Cork Simon as its director in 2011.