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Daughters of Wisdom Great Britain and Ireland (GBI)
Gráinne Hilton DW

Homelessness is a serious violation of human dignity, which has become a global problem. It is affecting people of all ages from all walks of life, in both the developed and developing countries. Globally 150 million people are homeless, 1.6 billion people worldwide live in inadequate housing conditions and 15 million are forcibly evicted each year.

These high numbers are surging due to Covid-19 Pandemic’s economic impact. Not having a safe place to call home has become ever more challenging for people around the world including Ireland and the UK.

Under International Human Rights Law, everyone, without exception, has the right to adequate housing, and governments should be doing all they can to ensure that everyone can enjoy this right.

In Ireland in 1997 the Daughters of Wisdom through the initiative of Sr. Jean Quinn founded Sophia, a Housing Organization for homeless women and children. Its mission is to provide homes and ongoing support for families and individuals with complex needs.  Sophia believes that a person needs to be given the space and time to process their own issues.

Religious Congregations in Ireland support Sophia by utilising their lands and buildings they own across Ireland and bringing them back to life as housing for people who are homeless.

Sophia Housing has a Board of Directors representing a wide variety of sectors in Ireland. Included on the Sophia’s Board is Sr. Jean Quinn and Sr. Gráinne Hilton Daughters of Wisdom and Sisters from other Congregations.

Included on the Board is a current Service User of Sophia Housing Association. Ann was a homeless single mother when she first arrived to Sophia Housing with her young son. Over the years Ann overcame many personal difficulties which she attributes to the unwavering close support of her Sophia Care Worker. Subsequently Ann went on to complete her education up to Third Level at University. Ann is now a lecturer herself in a local University.

From the beginning, Sr. Jean Quinn wanted to have a Wisdom Centre included as part of Sophia Housing. This wish came true when an anonymous donor gave a special donation to build a Wisdom Centre in Dublin. The Wisdom Centre was especially designed and built to be a beautiful and calm place where individuals and groups come to reflect and develop.

The Wisdom Centre Staff take pride in offering a warm welcome and dedicated service to individuals and groups. This is shown by the positive comments they receive and the return of individuals and groups.

Due to Covid-19 the Wisdom Centre has been closed intermittently this year in accordance with Government guidelines but the Staff wait patiently for the next opportunity to open.

Source Front page image: marcinjozwiak-Pixabay

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