Even though it seems like life has totally paused due to the pandemic, families experiencing homelessness in Ireland are living in emergency accommodation, struggling to find somewhere for their kids to call home.
I think we can all agree that life has been completely upended in many ways due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many of us went from living super busy lives, running from one place to the other to suddenly staying at home all the time. That's a difficult adjustment to make so suddenly, and it's not surprising that we struggle with it sometimes.
But sometimes, we hear a story that puts everything into perspective. Although I would rather be getting up in the morning to go to an office, seeing my colleagues, heading to the gym and meeting up with friends, I have to recognise that I have a home to stay in when the restrictions tell me to do so.
Focus Ireland is here to remind us that families experiencing homelessness in Ireland have continued to struggle in the pandemic. Clare and her family were homeless for over a year. Thanks to the help from Focus Ireland, Clare and her family were moved into a safe and warm home of their own. Clare explains what the experience was like:
"I never thought I’d ever be homeless. And then one day our landlord said he was selling our house. That was it. We had been there for eight years. I felt like the rug was just pulled from underneath our feet.
"We had looked for somewhere new to rent, but I remember when we first got to our room in the emergency accommodation, I thought “How did it come to this?” The kids found it especially hard. My daughter cried every night saying she wanted to go home.
"I don’t know what we would have done without Sean, our Family Support Worker, and the guys in Focus Ireland. They went out of their way to help. Sean and the team were there for us every step of the way, I don’t know how we would have managed without them."
Many people like Clare and her family are still faced with homelessness, living in emergency accommodation without a home of their own. The below ad from Focus Ireland serves as a stark reminder of that. Seeing the curious young girl struggling to figure out the situation she and her mother find themselves in reminds us that homelessness affects families of all shapes and sizes in Ireland.
Every child deserves to have somewhere to call home.